Around the holidays, we naturally begin to plan for the year ahead. As we look to 2013, many of us will undoubtedly have New Year’s resolutions regarding our health. Organizations undergo a similar stage of analysis and planning for the New Year, and for many, that includes workplace wellness. Although many organizations prefer to coordinate the launch of a wellness program with open enrollment season, it is never too early or too late in the year to start incorporating wellness at work.
A successful health and wellness program requires planning, employee engagement, support from top management, and a strong communication strategy. If you would like to ease your organization into health and wellness, try these 5 tips and test the waters.
- Provide healthier snack options at work. Replace the cookies and candy bars in your vending machines or kitchens with items such as granola bars and low-calorie snacks. To engage your staff, ask for snack ideas that fit a healthy lifestyle!
- Buy pedometers for your employees and encourage them to walk a few extra steps per day. You may want to create a walking competition, as well. Do you have a younger age demographic? Swap the pedometers with a list of free or inexpensive smart phone apps that serve as a pedometer, fitness tracker, and food/calorie blog.
- Provide ideas for healthy eating outside of the office! You can find information on most fat-food chains and local restaurants at CalorieKing.com, Eat This Not That, or Good Food Near You.
- Encourage employees to work out together. Try yoga after work, walk during lunch, or participate in an aerobics class at your local gym!
- Ask for feedback. The biggest mistake you could make would be to implement these changes, no matter how small, and not encourage thoughtful engagement. Employee feedback is essential to the success of future programs- and it can be as simple as a short survey online or a conversation at an office meeting.
Starting small with wellness is one way to strategically implement a health and wellness program at work. Not only does it provide an opportunity to understand the needs of your workforce, it allows you to build a foundation for the long haul. Depending on your demographics and health care usage, your goals and objectives for the program may be very different from another organization. Start small and give yourself the opportunity to assess and plan appropriately for a successful workplace wellness program!
For more information about health and wellness programs and how AFG can assist in the planning, development, and implementation contact Lauren Simonetti at firstname.lastname@example.org.