Workplace Wellness Programs – How to keep the momentum going
Wellness Programs in the workplace. It seems like they’re on everyone’s mind. A growing number of employers have implemented a Wellness Program in their workplaces. And, of course, SRG is no exception. We’ve had a Wellness Program in place for the past 2 ½ years. At first, initiating the Wellness Program was pretty simple… well, not simple, it was certainly a lot of work! However, because it was something very new to our employees, it was a time of excitement and acceptance. We had a committee and hosted a giant launch party that included a Wellness Fair, introducing our focus for the program. Everyone got to ‘dress up’ 80’s style. It was a lot of fun and very memorable for our team. We have continued to have company meetings themed around wellness throughout the years, some definitely more memorable than others! All of these events were well received, but overall, sometimes it’s difficult to keep the momentum going. (We can’t constantly have company-wide meetings or send them to nutrition classes monthly. These can only be special treats in order to stay on budget and maintain business activities). So, how do you keep a Workplace Wellness Program going without constant ‘big events’? Well, here are a few things we’ve done…
- Our first step was to establish a solid committee to generate and set in motion activities, ideas and events based on our four initiatives (physical activity, nutrition, mental health and personal growth). We meet on a monthly basis to report out on progress and come up with new ideas on how to promote the Wellness Program and keep it top-of-mind with our team.
- We built a section specific to Wellness on our intranet (internal internet). It includes our four initiatives and there are articles, tools, recipes, tips and company news all surrounding wellness. We incorporated a special photo gallery, sharing some of our funny moments and contests. As new items are added to the Wellness section, they are announced on our intranet home page and, of course, anyone can visit the section at any time for more information.
- Another initiative that we started immediately in 2015 was a Fitbit challenge. All of our employees received Fitbit step trackers at the Wellness launch meeting as a tool to help them improve their physical activity. We’ve done a few different versions of challenges including ‘highest steps’ and ‘most improved over previous month’. Our current version includes paid time off as a prize for most improved… definitely enticing for our team and little cost to us! There is absolutely no pressure to participate at all in a challenge. Employees can have a Fitbit bracelet if they wish, be part of the challenge if they wish, or not use the tool at all. It’s completely up to them.
- At the end of our first year, we sent out a survey to our employees to learn what they liked and disliked about our Wellness Program. We set up a section to find out what interests them (various topics to check off) and we asked for advice and suggestions of what they’d like to see in the future. This shaped a solid second year for our program and carried over into our third. We had more buy-in to the program by giving employees more options and less pressure.
- Finally, in addition to our communication on our intranet, we reach out directly with our team via their inbox. These emails include such things as ‘Have you Moved Today?’ messages (reminding us all to get up for a few minutes and do some stretches or small exercises), articles of interest on mental health and personal growth, and a reminder of our ParticipACTION 150 challenge and fun ideas to consider.
All of these tips are different ways of reaching out to our team to remind them of the importance personal and organizational wellness. We can’t force the concept on them, but subtle reminders throughout the year are a great way to keep the momentum going and keep our organization healthy!
Virginia Johnson is Marketing & Creative Coordinator for SRG. When she’s not designing ads, creating campaigns, writing copy and being creative at work, she can be found curled up with her nose in a book, working out or proudly whisking her daughter to and from extra curricular activities.