You have established an employee wellness program for your employees, maybe you even have an onsite fitness center available free of cost to your workforce. What you’re finding is that after a long shift of being on their feet, and a couple hours of over-time your workforce is exhausted. It’s hot, some of their work areas do not have air conditioning and they feel they have sweat enough and now you want them to exercise? They already feel like you control their lives, they are work 6 days a week and they don’t want to be required to do more. They are ready to get home, spend some time with their families before waking up to do it all over again. As the employer you are left feeling like your investment isn’t being utilized by employees. It can be frustrating, it's free to them, you have provided top notch equipment, what else could they want? Consider what has been implemented and survey your employees and find out what barriers keep them from utilizing your onsite corporate fitness center or participating in wellness offerings.
You might find there are a variety of reasons that prevent your employees’ ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whether it is work, family life that is jammed packed with their children’s activities, appointments, volunteer commitments, you can relate to needing to get home after a long day. Consider the following ways to engage your workforce to be more involved in your onsite corporate wellness program.
1) Engage them at work! You can’t always expect employees to get involved on their own time. Show that you support the use of the onsite fitness center, or involvement by offering time during their day to participate in wellness activities. Consider how you can get employees moving during a 15 minute break with brief walking groups or stretch sessions. Showing employees that you can relate to them will go a long way.
2) Team collaboration. It’s time to come together as a team. Whether you out source your fitness center staff, or have an in-house team they can collaborate with HR by providing new hire presentations to initiate involvement in your fitness and wellness program. If you have a health service department, your fitness team can work with them to offer lifestyle modification programming to target individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, or weight management issues.
3) Offer incentives. Prizes go a long way and don’t always have to be expensive. When budgeting for the year consider incentive prizes to pair with your programming such as fitness gear, it’s amazing what people will do for a new shirt, gym bag, medicine ball, etc. Other items to consider would be pedometers, fit bits, polar watches, and gift cards. Most employees need that little incentive to push them to participate.
4) Involve families. Your employee’s families also affect your company’s health care costs. Create an event to draw in spouses and dependents to teach them about your wellness offerings. Consider a weekend wellness fair or make it a component of your employee appreciation picnics.
5) Devote a day. Whether it be once a month, or once a year dedicate a time which focuses on the health and wellbeing of your workforce. Incorporate a monthly Wellness Wednesday event where your wellness staff can provide screenings such as blood pressure, flexibility, or body composition screenings. These can be set up in a hallway, cafeteria, or break time gathering area to engage members with a hands’ on approach while they are off line.
Employees don’t want to feel forced into participating, but having support from the top does encourage employees. Check out this blog post about how CEO support can help drive your corporate wellness results.