There’s an interesting paradox that occurs in the human psyche. Knowledge (or the absence of it) is not typically the reason we don’t do the things we know we should do. If you’ve ever wanted to lose weight, then you know it isn’t for lack of desire either.
If you can’t get yourself to exercise just because you want to lose weight and know that you should, what makes you think that strategy will work for your employees? Even if the option of a corporate wellness program is there, they know it would be good for them to participate, and they probably WANT to feel better, doesn’t mean your employees will actually end up taking advantage of the wellness benefits.
So how do you inspire true behavior change and make sure your employees are utilizing those wellness benefits? We found a great article on corporatewellnessmagazine.com with 4 key concepts meant to help you do just that. Even better, these steps work both inside and outside the workplace.
Offer a variety of benefits that cater to many different aspects of wellness and different starting points. Some of your employees may love running marathons, and others may not have eaten a single vegetable all year. These employees have very different needs, just like the stressed-out single mom who never has a chance to relax and the computer whiz who spends hours and hours parked in front of his computer have different needs. If you want your employees to participate in a wellness program, there needs to be enough variety to be relevant to them.
Create a sense of community. Humans are social creatures. We need the pressure and support that comes from the sense of being a part of a community. You’re a lot more likely to succeed if you have others in your corner. We’ve all experienced the motivation that accountability brings. You can create a sense of community in the office by asking employees to share their wellness accomplishments, encourage them to take wellness breaks, or offering incentives to participate.
Impact their mindsets. Make them think that they can succeed by celebrating smalls wins and reminding them of their why for wanting to be healthy – whether it’s to be more productive at work, or to be more energetic for their kids.
Focus on anchoring new habits to existing ones. This will make the habit easier to implement. For instance, encourage a stretch break after every cup of coffee.