Workplace wellness is a multi-million-dollar industry. When done right, those millions of dollars spent earn far more than that in return. When done wrong however, workplace wellness focuses around a reactive instead of proactive approach and leads to millions of dollars in workplace productivity loss, employee absenteeism and loss of company ROI.
If you want to find yourself in the latter category it’s time to stand up and get real about what your employees need and how you can get there.
What’s Wrong With my Workplace Wellness Program?
Here’s the thing: it might not be that there is anything outlandishly wrong about your program, as much as it is outdated. Heck, even something you started last year could be outdated by now with the rate of advancement of technology and wellness trends. And while some of it is indeed trends that will always be on again, off again, a lot of it is backed by science and research. And when it comes to that, there are a few areas of your program that researchers know are no longer best serving your employees:
- Symptoms over Cause
Employees show up to work (or are absent from work) with symptoms of compromised wellness: fatigue, gut distress, poor concentration, no energy, lack of focus.But wellness programs that only address these symptoms instead of helping employees get to the cause of them will only go in a vicious circle of getting rid of symptoms temporarily, and then seeing them return.
- Trends over Sustainability
Similar to addressing a symptom instead of a cause, programs that just jump on trends an don’t offer their employees the resources and education to make sustainable changes will never see long term progress. For example, encouraging employees to do a challenge of 3 weeks meat free is not as effective at promoting enhanced long term heart health and diabetes reduction as if employees are educated on what it looks like to adopt a plant based diet.
- Short-Term Over Long-Term
Quick fixes and plans with a short turnaround are less effective than setting down a foundation that will allow your employees to adopt habits that they can maintain over the long-term.
Let’s start with the hard part: you have to make a change. Change is indeed hard – logistically, financially, physically, and emotionally – and as a result is often avoided. In fact, the reality that things have to change is often the primary hurdle in the way, and why workplace wellness programs remain the same for so long. But now that you know you are going to have to make a change, let’s jump in and figure out what you need to change.
- Answer the Why
One of the biggest issues surrounding wellness programs is adherence and consistency: employees start a program, but fail to see it through or fail to engage in it consistently. You can help address this issue by relating the program to their real life: why what they are doing is important for their everyday functioning. For example, how drinking the energy tealets them be more productive at work, but also have more energy for their kids. How the night-time tea, which improves sleep, will allow them to more easily get up and exercise before work and help them have more patience for their family.
- Break Down Barriers
In addition to answering the why, find out the why not. What are the hurdles in the way of your employees’ adherence or starting the program? What is holding them back from committing? Things such as lack of knowledge, feeling unsupported or uncomfortable, or not able to connect with other employees to form a network and feel part of a team can all be contributing factors.
- Cultivate a Community
Addressing the issues surrounding making employees feel comfortable, supported and part of a team can largely be addressed by working to create a community. Make workplace wellbeing an integral part of weekly happenings at the office and something that everybody participates in. Cultivate a culture of positivity and encouragement and encourage employees to reach out to each other to aid in maintaining accountability and adherence.
If you’re ready to make a change and create a wellness program that works, we have just what you need to get started: a Health Tea Box! Complete with energy boosting teas made with science backed ingredients, it might be just the answer you are looking for!