Even the best-planned wellbeing initiatives can take a while to get off the ground. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes and it’s easy to imagine how it might feel daunting to take part in a new workplace initiative or change a long-standing habit.
It’s often necessary to reach out to employees to encourage participation. This doesn’t mean your wellbeing initiatives won’t be as popular or effective as you’d hoped – it simply means your people are experiencing barriers to change and may need a hand getting started. Try these tips to boost engagement and help your people feel comfortable trying new things.
Harness the power of social proof by tapping into sub-communities around the workplace. It’s easier to make positive changes if those around us are doing the same.
Whether it’s a company netball club or a 10-minute stretch in the daily stand-up meeting, taking a social approach to wellbeing has lots of benefits:
- Doing things together keeps us accountable and helps us build stronger habits.
- Group activities increase visibility and generate buzz around the workplace.
- Communities help foster open discussion, making people feel more comfortable providing feedback.
You can integrate wellbeing into existing networks and communities, such as departmental events or regular team meetings.
You could also work with employees to create new communities where there’s demand, such as a Couch to 5k running club or a working parents’ support group.
Start from the top
As well as guiding the direction of your wellbeing strategy, your leadership team can help promote healthy habits by leading by example.
Consistent messaging is key to making employees feel empowered to take action. That’s why it’s so important to create strong links between your leadership team, line managers and employees.
You can take these proactive steps to help the right messages filter through:
- Leaders and line managers should strive to demonstrate healthy behaviours in their own working lives.
This can be simple actions such as taking regular breaks, reducing overtime and taking part in wellbeing activities across the business.
- Leaders should focus on setting the ‘cultural tone’ of the workplace.
This can be achieved through regular workshops or check-ins with department heads, where important messaging is clearly communicated, ready to be disseminated across all levels of the organisation.
- Give people more time in their day.
You can further demonstrate your commitment to wellbeing by encouraging the use of policies such as discounted gym memberships or extended lunch breaks to allow people the opportunity to look after their wellbeing during the working day.
Refine your processes
Embed health and wellbeing into your company culture by making it part of your day-to-day procedures.
It’s important to integrate your new ways of working across the whole organisation by encouraging a joined-up approach across departments and advocating for policies that prioritise employee health.
It can be difficult to get people on board with new working practices, especially in a larger workforce, but these suggestions can help make wellbeing part of your ‘business as usual’:
- Introduce new starters to your wellbeing initiatives.
You could offer a specific ‘wellbeing induction’ to encourage the use of your health benefits.
- Ensure your communication is clear and share information where people will actually see it.
For example, if some of your employees don’t have regular access to emails you could also display posters in the canteen. If most of your team is working remotely, you’ll need to offer a virtual alternative to in-person events.
- Try offering an incentive.
While vouchers are an obvious choice, incentives don’t have to be costly. Signing up to a local fundraiser or joining a team-based challenge can be really motivating too.
Refine your strategy with the help of our free e-book
Download our Workplace Strategy Workbook to find out how to create a wellbeing strategy that empowers your people to make positive changes and improve their wellbeing both in and outside the workplace.
From influencing company culture to engaging leaders and business partners, the workbook contains three chapters of guides, ideas and resources to help you create an effective wellbeing programme for your business.