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» Engage Your Workforce – Using Wellness to Drive Positive Change

March 27, 2019

Insurance Blog

Employee engagement has been a primary goal of many companies recently. With engagement as a goal, offering a corporate wellness program is considered a top tactic behind increasing engagement. Why? Well, wellness has become a critical business strategy since growing from simply having a few disjointed activities to a comprehensive, all-inclusive package. According to a 2017 Virgin Pulse survey, 42% of respondent companies say a healthy workforce drives employee engagement. Organizations with robust programming focused on total well-being are even seen as employers of choice and having programming as part of a benefits package can positively affect attraction, recruitment and retention efforts.

So, what is engagement? Engagement is a commitment… anyone who has ever been married can relate – It’s a commitment to the organization. And, committed employees will help an organization thrive.

A committed employee has buy-in to work they are responsible for, the organization in total, and the culture. One who is engaged is also a happy employee who is willing and able to come to work for the betterment of the company each day.

Engaging employees is not an easy task though. Let alone adding wellness to the mix. True engagement goes beyond basic participation – It’s about changing behaviors.

In wellness terms, engagement is a commitment to becoming and being as healthy as you – Whether it’s the company or individual – can be. Is your company engaged in managing the health of your workforce or at least want to improve employee health? Ask yourself how committed the company is to wellness and you will know how engaged your employee population is with wellness.

Just like anything you want to change in your business, engaging in wellness doesn’t happen overnight. One-step further, changing health and managing your business’ health doesn’t happen in a short time period either. To experience positive change, a company needs to dedicate energy – time, effort, resources – to see success.

Engaging in wellness involves layers of planning and dedication to affect the cultural aspects of a business too. Forcing employees to complete tasks won’t do the trick. You want to see employees actually want to actively participate beyond just “checking a box” to say they completed a wellness-related activity or requirement in a corporate wellness program.

Engagement also involves the goals you have defined as part of the overall wellness program. How can you say employees are engaged in wellness if you don’t have any measurable outcomes to compare over the years? To help groups understand the need to define benchmarks associated with their wellness program, I wrote a quick post on resolutions (goals) in January – Check it out here to catch-up.

Employees are engaged in a wellness program when they look forward to the next opportunity to learn more, participate in a fun activity, are intrinsically motivated to make a healthy choice in and out of the workplace, and understand why their employer wants them to be healthy.

Employees are engaged in a wellness program when they look forward to the next opportunity to learn more, participate in a fun activity, are intrinsically motivated to make a healthy choice in and out of the workplace, and understand why their employer wants them to be healthy.

To help your employees understand your wellness programming approach, there are 3 elements that should act as your guiding lights. So everyone involved knows the meaning behind the wellness program and engage with the direction your business is taking, work to outline these important elements:

  • Your program’s Purpose – It portrays the overall “Why” wellness is a focus
  • The overall Vision of having a formal program in place – Explains “What” the program will set out to achieve
  • A Mission supporting the efforts – Defines “How” the vision will be carried out

Once your company captures these personalized elements, there are many other items to consider as part of program design – Incentives, employee demographics, support within all levels of the organization, promotions and communications, appropriate interventions, wellness committees, etc. More to come on these topics…However, keep in mind how wellness can be integrated within the company culture and understand the reason behind starting wellness efforts in your workplace.

Engagement (not participation) in a program changes lives. So, make it a goal for your company to help employees adopt and maintain healthy behaviors for the long haul. If your company isn’t engaged with wellness yet, don’t worry. Remember to start small because your culture won’t change overnight, and employees won’t be engaged to your company immediately. It takes the right people, right attitudes and right energy to produce engagement results, but it is possible – Everything takes time.

Need help? Britton Gallagher can assist your organization in designing a path towards better corporate health. Contact us today to lead your wellness program to success. I can be reached at Tom.Brew@BrittonGallagher.com and 216-658-7847.

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