More and more companies are investing in workplace wellness solutions to take care of their employees. But, according to the numbers, few employees are involved in these activities. Some simply are unaware they exist. For fear of low participation, many companies decide never to take the plunge. So how do you ensure that your employees will take part in the adventure? Discover how to convince your employees to participate in your wellness program in 5 steps!
1. Explain why it's essential
Don't let your employees figure out on their own how the program works and why it's important. One must often have to start by filling them in on the concept of wellness: what it is, the different forms of fulfillment, the solutions that exist, etc. By encouraging employees to consider their needs and options, they will be much more receptive to your corporate wellness program.
Explain to them why it is essential, and especially that there is nothing to be ashamed of feeling the need to take care of themselves. Empathy is crucial in convincing employees to participate. Sometimes it is necessary to give employees “permission” to share their mental health and wellness concerns.
Hold sessions in which you detail the principles of the program, its goals and the resources used. The more you communicate, the more you stimulate their curiosity and motivation.
💡 At United Heroes, we created a "playbook" : a guide to ensure your sport at work project is a success. Download it here.
2. Involve employees in the launch of the program
No matter how interesting your corporate wellness program is, you need to involve employees to motivate them for the long haul. For example, you can ask them to choose the name and logo of the program, or to become ambassadors or team leaders to motivate colleagues. It's also a great way to develop leadership skills! Recognize employees who have initiated personal projects related to your program.
Maybe you have yoga enthusiasts at your company, or meditation enthusiasts? Perhaps you have wellness enthusiasts who can lead workshops with colleagues? The possibilities are endless, and the best resources you have are probably already in-house!
3. Involve top management
Only 49% of employees say their manager understands their issues and needs, so it's important to educate top management on topics such as staff and team wellness.
To create a culture of wellness, managers must set the right tone. They need to embody your program through speeches, videos, etc. For example, a short video of a senior leader speaking candidly about their experience with mental health and how they used the organization's resources to cope is a great idea.
If your top management starts to take longer breaks, stop answering emails on weekends and talk regularly about quality of work life, employees will follow suit. Again, they will feel “allowed” to do the same.
Your employees will finally take time for themselves and become active participants in their own personal development. The creation of a wellness culture is a powerful gesture by a company: it should be positioned as a priority objective for all organizations.
4. Make the program as inclusive and accessible as possible
According to Harvard Business Review, 38% of all the employees who said they could have participated in a physical wellness program in 2020, but didn't, said it was because they were too busy. Your wellness program should speak to everyone, regardless of level, age, occupation. There should be something for everyone.
For example, if you only offer a gym membership, people with health or physical problems will be excluded. They will be far less motivated. Think bigger by planning various activities: lunches, treatments, meditation sessions, conferences on stress management, etc.
Peer pressure can be a positive thing when it comes to wellness, as everyone can influence each other in the right direction. It is often easier to achieve goals as a group than alone. Encourage employees to work on their health and wellness by connecting with colleagues who share a common interest.
5. Reward and highlight efforts
To convince your employees to participate in your wellness program, you need to identify what drives them. Is it money or gift cards, or is it pride and public recognition? Both can serve as a springboard to success. Material rewards, like high praise, can keep employees motivated and encourage future efforts. Not all employees are interested or motivated by the same things. Generally, there are two types of motivation:
- Intrinsic motivation: comes from within, such as pride in a job well done or the satisfaction of making a difference in the community or an organization.
- Extrinsic motivation: comes from more traditional rewards, such as gifts or vouchers.
Moreover, to encourage healthy behaviors towards these rewards and a true wellness approach, be sure to hand out these same rewards over time. Incentives along the way help avoid frustration and keep employees working toward the next milestone.
To make your employees want to participate in your corporate wellness program, you need to take the time to explain what it is and involve them in the process. Involve your top management in promoting the program by emphasizing its accessibility and inclusiveness. Rewards over time will keep motivation high. To set up a wellness and sport program at your company, ask for a free demo of our United Heroes!