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3 Ideas to Inspire Your Employee Wellness Strategy

3 Ideas to Inspire Your Employee Wellness Strategy
Posted on Friday, June 10, 2016 by Rae Shanahan
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Wellness_Tech.pngFrom our gym and in-office wellness coach to healthy catered lunch options, employee wellness is a priority here at Businessolver – and we’re not alone. 

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Over the past few years, workplace wellness programs have gained tremendous popularity. In fact, the 2015 Aflac Workforces Report found that nearly half of the companies surveyed offer corporate wellness programs.

Making wellness a part of office life is nothing new. However, keeping programs feeling new can be a challenge. Employees are becoming increasingly sophisticated about health and well-being and want to be empowered with the latest tools and resources. But up-leveling your wellness offering to keep pace with employees’ needs is no easy task. That’s why we’re here to help! Annual enrollment is right around the corner, making now the perfect time to revitalize your wellness offering. Check out our tips below for inspiration to guide your strategy.

Recognize that wellness is more than physical

Many workplace wellness programs focus on physical health – for example, discounted gym memberships, smoking cessation programs or incentivized weight loss plans, to name a few. But employees today are interested in all aspects of well-being. They want tools to help them manage stress, maintain good mental health and build financial wellness.

This means wellness offerings need to be multi-faceted. Talk to your employees and understand what their priorities are and what aspects of wellness they don’t feel are addressed through current workplace programs. From there, you can start to identify how to build out your offering.

For example, you can help employees cope with stress by bringing in a meditation coach every month, or by establishing a designated space in the workplace for relaxation. You can help them develop their financial wellness by offering financial counseling or building out your organization’s financial benefits. The key is to take it one step at a time and work up to a robust and comprehensive offering. This will allow you to fully dedicate your focus to each aspect of wellness, and ensure the program is successful and meets the needs of your employees.

Wake employees up to the importance of sleep

In a constantly connected world with endless deadlines and packed schedules, it’s a challenge to get adequate rest each night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.

As we know, this is not good news. Sleep matters, big time! It affects employees’ health, happiness and productivity. However, sleep has never played a starring role in workplace wellness programs, perhaps because it can feel strangely personal to talk about with colleagues. And from a logistical perspective, sleep-focused wellness programs have always been difficult to execute.

But thanks to the proliferation of wearable devices like smart watches and fitness trackers, we have better intel than ever about our sleep. These devices can track an incredible amount of data and make a sleep focused wellness program much more feasible by allowing employees to monitor things like quality of sleep and number of hours slept each night.

By waking up to the challenges that lack of sleep poses, we can help employees increase their wellness and ultimately, improve the quality of their experience at work and in life overall.

Help employees get in the game

Just because research shows that employees want wellness programs, doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to participate. Programs must be engaging, supportive and user friendly to ensure employee involvement.

One of the best ways to get employees excited about wellness programs? Use gamification. Many wellness programs on the market today have an app or online component that allows employees to track their progress, compete with other employees, earn points and badges, and reach new levels. These game-like qualities provide participants with instant gratification that encourages them to stay involved and keep working towards their goals.

If your wellness program doesn’t have a built-in gamification element, you can add it yourself. Determine specific wellness milestones and compensate employees with points as they reach each landmark. Reward the employee that hits a designated number of points first with a prize. Does your organization have a competitive streak? Consider creating a leader board and displaying it in the break room. Employees will be able to see how they’re progressing against their peers and feel motivated to get to the top. By making wellness programs a game, employees will be excited to get involved and play their way to success.

Want more inspiration? Click here to read about our approach to employee wellness and stay tuned for more posts on the topic!