This time of year is the perfect time for launching workplace health and wellness activities. All the ideal conditions are present: motivation, perceived need and availability.
Motivation: your employees are pumped and primed for a health boost. Their New Years resolutions are still fresh and their intentions are strong.
Perceived need: many are feeling the effects of a more relaxed approach to diet and exercise over the holidays, and are ready to clean up their act a bit and get back in shape.
Availability: this week, everyone’s back at work, now that school has finally gone back. It’s heads-down, sure but without the intense end-of-year deadlines.
So, with these ripe conditions, what do most health and wellness managers do at the end of January?
They plan. They strategise. They hold workshops. They fill in Excel worksheets, mapping out goals and strategies and tactics.
All with the right intentions, of course. All important stuff — every successful health and wellness program needs a strategic plan.
But as a result, the momentum is lost. The prime conditions fade, resolutions lose their resolve and employees slowly fall back into their old habits.
This year, see if you start the action a little earlier. Leverage off this fresh new energy of the fresh new year to create a real buzz and energy around your program.
It doesn’t have to be big or sophisticated action — just some high energy, high visibility changes can make a difference.
Here are some ideas to start you off:
1. Go straight into a health campaign.
2. If you’re not ready for a campaign right now, create your own low-cost activity.
3. Get some eBooks or booklets on their desk.
You can order health eBooks and get them to your employees in a very short space of time. Or, if you want more “cut-through”, choose some printed booklets.
4. Put up inspiring posters.
4. Re-energise your wellness champions (see the Three Cs of creating employee support).
5. Ask employees what they want.
6. Celebrate success.
“We have a strategic plan. It’s called ‘doing things.’ – Herb Kelleher, CEO Southwest Airlines