According to a 2013 worldwide Gallup Poll, only 13 percent of employees say they are actively engaged at work. That means a staggering 87 percent of employees are “actively disengaged” or “not engaged” on the job. Is this something employers can find a solution for? Is it possible for the company to develop a company-wide mindset that values improving the overall quality of life for their employees?
Creating a wellness culture within your company means doing more than having the employer nagging employees to “do this, don’t do this.” The point of developing a wellness culture is to create a program that engages, excites, and supports your employees to live a healthier, well-balanced life.
At Tupelo, we believe the best way to succeed at bringing a cultural shift to your company is by making wellness programs what they should be: social, fun, and part of the day-to-day workplace activity for every employee. Here are three important ways to begin building a company culture that engages employees and values wellness.
1. Lead by example
Since corporate wellness is generally a newer idea, it’s common for there to be confusion about who is responsible for the success of the program. “One of the common problems with wellness programs is there is no clear owner,” remarks Martyn Molnar, the CEO of Tupelo Life.
It’s safe to assume the path to a well-run and successful corporate wellness program will look a little different for every company. But in order to achieve a true culture shift, there is one common denominator that you need on your side: the buy-in and engagement of the CEO and upper management. When a company’s leaders are leading the drive for a better work-life balance and overall wellness, that’s when there is real opportunity for a wellness program to create a pivotal shift in company culture.
2. Make it accessible
More than anything, you want your wellness program to resonate and engage employees. In order to appeal to the varying fitness levels and interests within your workforce, focus on creating activities and sessions that feel accessible to everyone. Try hosting a myriad of events from over-lunch nutrition seminars to midday high-intensity staircase challenges. Bring in Zumba and yoga instructors; offer meet-up walking groups.
Regardless of what kind of activities you host, make every session accessible by inviting employees to participate no matter their fitness level or interest. Empower the individuals who are already taking those fitness steps, but also look for ways to intentionally encourage the ones who need to.
3. Create a rock-solid communication plan
Wellness cannot be achieved overnight—not for an individual and certainly not for a company. To get employees on board and excited about an upcoming inter-department wellness competition or an over-lunch fitness class, you need to create a buzz. For that inter-department competition, set up the leader boards in the center of break rooms or the company lunch area. This will create natural opportunities for employees to engage with the competition together.
If creating a new piece of communication for your wellness program isn’t possible in the beginning, try leveraging communication opportunities that already exist. Is there a notice board where employees can post announcements? Use this area to promote a running club or a discounted membership at a nearby gym.
Seek opportunities to collaborate with the communications team at your company to develop a framework and different methods for on-going communication about wellness initiatives. By keeping wellness as a regular part of company-wide communication, this will keep wellness on the forefront of employees’ minds.