Listen First, Act Second
Want to create a high impact wellness program that works for your employee population? The starting place is a simple act… listening. Too often, I talk to employers so focused on changing behavior as quickly as possible. They forget to listen to what employees are looking for in the first place! This usually involves throwing every idea out there at once and waiting to see what sticks. Unfortunately, this is often a waste of time and resources. It can create a perception that the wellness program is something the employer’s doing “to us,” rather than “for us.” That, right there, is where they check out.
A successful wellness program’s only as good as the engagement and perceived value in the program. Without engagement, change is going to be very difficult and very frustrating. And engagement stems from understanding what the employees’ needs and interests are.
Employers seeking engaged employees should be committed to learning three things about their workforce:
- When employees would most likely participate in events
- What topics they would benefit from most
- How their work environment helps or hinders their goals and participation
Understanding these characteristics about your employees is gold to planning out your initiative and getting employees engaged. After all, you want to make sure the programs you’ve worked so hard to create are going to be feasible for employees to participate in.
Remember to keep it simple, and start by listening.
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