Kick Off the New Year with a Healthy Workforce

One of the biggest New Year’s Resolutions for individuals revolves around wellness. 21% of all Americans each year resolve to lose weight. The problem with this resolution is that it doesn’t look at overall wellness. The same is true when developing a workplace wellness plan. BirdDogHR wants to offer tangible tips for engaging employees in a wellness program, regardless of whether it’s been around for decades or if one brave employee is starting the program all on their own. Wellness programs are a way to engage employees because they make employees feel like the company is investing in its employees and it also promotes work/life/health balance which will lead to higher performance.

Create Customizable Goals

Just like there is no one-size-fits-all approach to employee engagement, there is no universal solution for wellness programs. Different employees are going to feel strongly about different wellness aspects, just like they are engaged in different ways. It’s not reasonable to set a goal of a 25 pound weight loss and a half marathon for each employee. Work with employees to set goals that work for them. If Sandra loves cooking and water sports, help her to set goals that incorporate her passions by helping her find the resources to build skills and knowledge in both of those areas. If Phil wants to start running, consider reimbursing him for the registration fee for his first 5k. Find what motivates employees and connect them with resources to help them grow. 

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Make it Fun

While health is serious business, companies can inject fun into their wellness programs. Consider having a quarterly or monthly cooking program where teams learn about healthy recipes. If budgeting is a concern, consider having a sept-counting competition between employees with small incentive prizes for each week’s winners. Examples of prizes could be a single yoga class, employer-branded workout gear, or a small gift certificate to the local health food store. Or, if your company needs a break from the busy season, consider using part of the wellness budget to rent out a trampoline park or skating rink to get some mid-day activity in, healthy snacks provided. By adding some fun to your wellness program, your employees will have the tools for healthier lifestyles, but also team-building opportunities that boost employee engagement.

Take a Holistic Approach

Wellness should focus on the whole employee, not just their physical fitness and healthy eating habits. While those are huge components to overall wellness, programming should not ignore the mental, financial and social wellness needs of employees. Consider doing a workshop on self-care before holiday stress hits so employees have the tools to manage the overwhelming nature of the most wonderful time of the year. A lunch-and-learn approach is a great way to help employees learn about financial literacy, responsibility, and budgeting. Have employees register or sign in to these events and provide them with incentive points that can be redeemable for prizes. Obviously the options for topics are endless and employers shouldn’t limit themselves to specific areas of development. Let employees decide what is important to them. Conducting a holistic wellness survey can be a great way to identify areas employees want to learn about.

By prioritizing employee wellness, you are prioritizing employee engagement, satisfaction and growth. If employees feel like their voices are being heard and that their managers are willing to invest in them, they will be more likely to invest in their companies. Give employees the tools to take control of their overall wellness and your employees will thank you.

The BirdDogHR Performance Management System can save managers time managing their workforce so they can continue to develop relationships with their employees. Schedule a demo today or contact us for more information.

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