Put Employees First: Engaging Employees in Wellness

Solely having a worksite wellness initiative in place offers no guarantee that employees will take advantag of the initiative and improve their health, safety and well-being. Gallup’s research shows a clear link between employee engagement and well-being with managers serving as the conduit between the two. Without sincere, honest engagement from employees it’s nearly impossible to have a successful wellness initiative.

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So how can you actively engage employees in your worksite wellness initiative? Here are four tips to boost engagement.

  1.  Focus on culture: Advance worker well-being by establishing policies, programs and practices that encourage worker participation, input and involvement and create new social norms. Strive to create an organizational culture that supports the wellness initiative with leaders who regularly communicate the value of the wellness initiative.
  2. Turn wellness into well-being: Encompass physical, emotional, social and financial health into a holistic, multifaceted wellness initiative that protects employees, and advances health and well-being within the organization.  Include these topics when gathering data using such tools as an employee needs and interest survey and be sure to use the data to drive programming.
  3. Make it fun and use the power of social connections: Employees are more motivated to get involved when their colleagues are involved. Wellness champions and committee members should actively recruit employees to initiate, lead and participate in wellness programs and events. Empower employees to take an active leadership role in your wellness initiative.  Couple this with a social approach to wellness by putting employees on teams working toward a common goal.
  4. Recognize employees: Increase awareness and participation in your wellness initiative by recognizing employees and their experiences, achievements and talents. In addition, acknowledge employees by appreciating their work across different locations and functions. Engage employees in this process by encouraging them to nominate their peers, promote successes and celebrate accomplishments and hard work. Employees who have been able to make positive changes to their health can be role models for the rest of the organization.

For additional strategies and tips to increase buy-in for your worksite wellness initiative be sure to read our Working on Wellness Buy-in Newsletter