Eat only healthy snacks at work, lose weight and burn calories through your
daily exercise. Save your company gobs of money by not getting sick. If
this is all your workplace wellness program includes, it stinks. And, your
employees are likely sick of it.
Creating a wellness program at your office is all the rage. You want to be
the hip company on the block with the cool options bringing good health to
the team. A wellness program at work can't save a sinking ship, but it can
lend a hand to improving the employee experience.
What catches the eye of the decision makers in the company with the funds
to promote a wellness program often include:
From the biggest loser challenge, to "no-bread February," to rewards for a
lower BMI to the weekly water chug challenge, everything you've done ends
up with little to no lasting participation. The word from the water cooler
is that no one cares to be a checkbox on your "health care cost savings"
Reevaluating the way we measure the value of wellness to organizational
culture and business priorities is dire.
Safeguarding the wellbeing of your employees is a fundamental part of your
organizational culture. When you put the spotlight on wellbeing, you start
to directly impact the employee experience in a beneficial way.
Zoom in, and you'll notice that wellbeing, culture, and engagement are key
components for leading your employee experience down a positive path. By
crafting regular positive experiences for your employees, you will create a
culture that appeals to talent and retains high performing engaged
The employee experience embodies more than perks and free snacks. A true
employee experience strengthens and supports your employees to be their
best in and out of the office while respecting that sometimes being the
best means not always being happy. It may mean having a difficult but
necessary conversation, crying on your lunch break, constructively venting
with a coworker or taking a mental health day. Employees should be
motivated to bring their whole self to work to feel included in a
supportive company culture.
There are three C's to wellness with the employee experience:
If you don't ask, you don't know what the team actually wants. Having a
purpose in the company, the opportunity to grow, and to feel like - and
trust - they are holistically taken care of by the business. Start with an
anonymous survey that features questions about what matters to them when it
comes to their own wellbeing in the workplace. Be sure to factor in topics
such as mental and emotional health, finance, career, creativity,
relationships, education or personal development. By expanding the
definition of "wellness," you're opening the door to seeing your team as
human beings with many life dimensions. Take action to implement these
ideas into your culture by bringing in the entire team community and
consistently stick with it.
Workplace wellness isn't a set one-and-done kind of deal. With the time it
takes to communicate with the team, evaluate their needs and wants, build
and implement a program, the last thing you want is it to fall flat and
disappear for good. Keep consistent communication with your team and let
the plan evolve with the culture. Schedule meetings, lunch n' learns, talk
about wellbeing in your 1:1s - however you want to weave it in, do it and
do it regularly. Yes, even if that means taking someone off the phones for
Are leaders in your organization sincerely and undoubtedly working on their
own wellbeing? When leaders embrace their own wellbeing, they spring a
trickle-down effect through the culture, positively influencing others.
Employees are much more likely to become involved in wellness activities
when they see that leadership is also doing so. The culture you're creating
is less about wellness from the place of dollar signs saved and more about
humans supporting humans at work. This can be felt the second anyone walks
through the door and seen in the work produced by the team.
It is important to understand that some of your team may not feel
comfortable disclosing personal information, even anonymously. There's
absolutely no reason to force anyone to make a change that they are not
ready to make.
Wellness at work is more than just roasted almonds and carrot sticks in the
break room. It has many dimensions, requires humans to become involved,
isn't always pretty and happy and needs consistent attention. And, it is
totally worth the time it takes to enhance the employee experience,
including your own.
Ready to make wellness a priority for your team? Be sure to join Jenny this May 13-16 at Contact Center Expo! She's speaking in session 102: Create a Culture of Self-Care in Your Contact Center.
Jenny Dempsey is the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for
NumberBarn.com. With over a decade of customer service experience under her
belt, she's the co-founder of CustomerServiceLife.com. As a certified health coach and the founder of Jenny Dempsey Wellness, she also provides corporate wellness in the workplace workshops for
teams. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers and lives
in sunny Carlsbad, California.
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