Nowadays, almost every company has some type of corporate wellness initiative. Many companies understand that employee well-being is an essential enabler of the company’s strategy. They utilize a variety of tools to measure and support wellness. All this is great, but it is not always as straightforward as companies might hope.
When it comes to corporate wellness, one of the most common problems is getting employees engaged. It’s human nature to find it hard to commit to changes – even if those changes would be good for us. Habitual behaviors are incredibly hard to modify. We all know that feeling of not having the time or energy (when we actually do) to try something new.
Include Employees in Decision Making
So, what do you do? How do you get your employees engaged in corporate wellness programs? The sports and well-being enthusiasts are always at the front, but what about everyone else?
First, it is important to include all employees in the process early on, beginning with the first planning sessions for your corporate wellness program. This is a great way to start building engagement. Together you can go through the current challenges. Be sure to listen to your employees and turn their ideas into tangible elements of your program.
Clearly communicating the benefits of your corporate wellness program, specifically from the employees’ point of view, also helps get them engaged more. While fundamental to any corporate wellness program, the benefits it brings to the organization (increased productivity, profitability, etc.) are not necessarily very exhilarating for individual employees, and that’s okay.
In fact, in terms of results, it’s better when employees are inspired by the wellness activities for their own sake. If they see the activities as just another thing to please the boss or because “it’s part of the job,” engagement remains a struggle. When it comes to health and lifestyle changes, “selfish” motivation is often the key to effective, long-term results.
Though it’s vital to highlight personal benefits of the program to dive engagement, employees shouldn’t end up feeling like the responsibility to execute the wellness program lies solely on their shoulders. Collective activities or events, playful challenges and general discussions about well-being are important ways to keep the topic alive, spread the sense of responsibility and keep employees active and involved.
Rewarding for All Wellness Program Participants
What does all this mean when it comes to Firstbeat Life? First and foremost, employees need to actually use Firstbeat Life, meaning they monitor their health and well-being regularly as part of the wellness program. Measuring is a feedback process, and particularly for those who struggle the most with well-being can get inspired by the impact of small changes in their daily lives. How does this happen?
It begins with the understanding that Firstbeat Life does not appraise employee performance. Firstbeat Life tells individuals about their well-being, free of judgement. Each individual employee’s personal results are just that, personal. For management and HR, Firstbeat Life generates company and group-level reports based on anonymized data. The insights from these reports help identify risks and further develop corporate wellness. With this big picture view of Firstbeat Life, reluctance fades away, making it easier for employees to adopt the measurement routine.
While it is important to engage all employees in wellness programs, including active individuals who already have a healthy lifestyle, those who have challenges with stress, recovery, sleep or exercise tend to benefit the most from Firstbeat Life. This is good, because even the slightest changes can have a massive impact on one’s health and well-being. Firstbeat Life creates a positive feedback loop of change and benefit that helps reinforce healthy lifestyle choices.
What about your active and healthy employees? They probably already have a sports watch or some other device to measure activity, so how do you keep them interested in Firstbeat Life? The extreme accuracy of Firstbeat Life and profound range of data will certainly excite them. Data of this caliber is hard to get outside a formal sports lab evaluation.
Proactively Connect the Dots
Employees are able to see the effects of their daily choices and routines on their well-being. As mentioned above, it’s important to highlight the personal benefits for your employees with concrete examples. Here are some tips on how to make the value of Firstbeat Life come alive:
- Do you have enough recovery to balance all the stress and hurry?
Firstbeat Life accurately monitors your stress and recovery to help you keep these in balance.
- How do specific activities affect your well-being?
Firstbeat Life shows how your stress & recovery are impacted by activities like going for a walk or leaving out the beer or wine with dinner.
- Do you have to measure all the time?
No, highly accurate data from Firstbeat Life over just a few days tells you exactly what is happening in your body, for example, during a typical work week or holiday break.
- How do you know if you are getting fitter?
Firstbeat Life measures your current fitness level and shows you how regular physical activity, like daily walks, improves fitness.
- Can you really tell what makes a difference day to day?
Absolutely, and it’s even better than that. Firstbeat Life monitors your body’s reactions in real time, so you can see immediately the effect of back-to-back meetings or a 15 min. break.
- Can you set our own goals?
Yes, and you should. Every individual is different on many levels. Firstbeat Life can provide recommendations based on your personal data, and you can set goals that are reasonable for you. For instance, for some, it might be adjusting sleeping rhythm, while others find it easier to find time for a short walk each day.
Leverage Individualized Guidance
Personal support is essential when it comes to engaging employees in corporate wellness programs. A successful program keeps the topic of well-being alive in the work community and encourages employees to use Firstbeat Life regularly.
For example, if a busy peak period is just around the corner, this would be an ideal time for employees to use Firstbeat Life to monitor their stress and recovery balance. Major organizational changes can also be stressful, so they are also a good opportunity to encourage employees to monitor their well-being with Firstbeat Life.
Based on the measurement results, the Firstbeat Life app offers individualized support and guidance. For example, the app gives video recommendations made by Firstbeat’s own experts, as well as small, handy everyday tips, all based on the employee’s personal measurement results and needs. The app also gives additional guidance if extra caution is in order due to unusually weak recovery, for example.
When employees are inspired to measure regularly, they learn a lot about their bodies. Small, positive changes often start to come quite naturally. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, skipping the nightcap, going for a short walk between meetings, moving a training session to early instead of late evening – they all add up to better health, and employees see that in black and white with Firstbeat Life.
Like many things in life, it’s the little things that matter the most. Small daily changes become more and more effective. As your employees’ health and well-being improve, your organization as a whole performs better and becomes more productive.
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