• 10 tips to Engage Unmotivated Employees in a Wellbeing Program

    How to convince the “half motivated” to exceed in reaching their goals.

10 tips to Engage Employees in a Wellbeing Program

In all employee wellbeing programs, there will be individuals interested in participation, and individuals without any interest whatsoever. The group you are really aiming to get to the tipping point of participation are the ‘half motivated’ group in the middle. They know their own wellbeing is a good idea and need those last nudges to get them on board. The following tips may assist you in building employee engagement:

These are 10 tips to improve your chances of success.

  1. Leadership commitment

The continued success of a wellbeing program relies on the ongoing support of all levels of the organization. Leaders should incorporate health and wellbeing into the overall vision and purpose, and also participate in the wellbeing programs themselves. Buy-in from the top is essential.

  1. Developing a healthy culture

An organization’s culture is vital to ensuring the business and the employees both get value from a wellbeing program. Wellbeing needs to be considered from a holistic view, not just a once per day view – it takes effort and consideration to make the space and ecosystem for behavior change. Examples of developing a healthy culture include flexible work arrangements, collaborative decision-making, setting achievable health goals, providing healthy food alternatives, and offering stand-up workstations.

  1. Long-term initiatives

Short-term campaigns or random acts are not effective. The focus should be on a long-term commitment with incentives spread over time. Long-term initiatives lead to developing a pattern of healthy behavior, which is ultimately what organizations wish to achieve.

  1. Personalization

Not all employees will have the same interests and the same level of abilities. Employees are more likely to participate in a wellbeing program if they can participate at their own fitness level and by doing activities that interest them. Some people love running, others love yoga, and some prefer team sports. Consider all activities and all fitness levels.

  1. Communication

It is important to communicate why the program is being implemented and what outcomes the employer hopes to accomplish. Ongoing communication should be short reminders about what is on offer, encouragement for participation and celebrating “wins” at all levels.

  1. Gamification

Gamification refers to incorporating gaming elements into a practice to make it more fun. Gamification is particularly of interest to the younger workforce but the right “games” will bring commitment from all age groups.

  1. Wearables

Incorporating wearables and technology into your wellbeing program increases the motivation of employees. Wearables provide an easy way to measure your progress, and “compete” in different challenges of your choice.

  1. Competitions

Humans love to compete, therefore developing competitions that consider everyone’s abilities can really help increase participation. Team challenges not only improve everybody’s quality of life with some valuable behavior change, but also create a chance to bond and boost morale.

  1. Identify motivators

Every employee is driven by different values and different motivational drivers. It is therefore imperative to understand what’s important to most of your team members. Are they family-focused and want more time with their children? Do they value being challenged? Are they driven by goal achievement or rewards/recognition? Do they enjoy a competitive work environment or do they prefer working in solitude? Developing a general employee “motivation profile” for most of your team members will; (1) help participation in the wellbeing program; and (2) increase performance organization-wide by increasing morale across all organizational activities.

  1. Incentives

Companies are finding non-traditional ways of incentives are more effective than cash incentives. Incentives will be attractive to different people for different reasons, but examples of incentives include:

  • Accruing hours off
  • Contribution to a health club membership
  • Massages
  • Gaming afternoons with the team;
  • Donations to chosen charities

Again, it’s important to remember employees will be motivated by different incentives. A survey at the beginning can help identify where employees would like to use their “points”.

Finally, how do you know if it works?  

It would be a very rare organization to have 100% employee commitment to a wellbeing program, however, that doesn’t mean the program was not a success. There are many benefits of wellbeing programs, with many organizations focusing on the ROI (return on investment) of decreased absenteeism. Decreased absenteeism is easy to measure if you simply benchmark current levels prior to commencing the program. It is, however, important to consider the VOI (value on investment) which can be more difficult to measure in numerical terms. The value on investment focuses on the broader impact of wellbeing programs, including improved morale, improved team cohesiveness, increased company loyalty, and improved attraction and retention.

At the end of the day to see how a wellbeing program works in your organization, you need to take the plunge and find out!

Kylee Randall

Head of Consultancy & Special Projects

Kylee Randall has spent the last 17 years in roles focussed on developing high productivity, resilient cultures in corporations. She has successfully delivered complex projects that integrate technology and people. Kylee has witnessed the value wellbeing provides to organisations, striving to promote this mentality in all projects. Kylee’s qualifications include a business degree, Master of Business Administration (Sustainable Business) and she is currently studying a Post Graduate Diploma in IT.

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