Over the past ten years I have worked with a lot of employers in both government and private sectors in offering health, wellbeing and injury prevention services. Over that time, I found that the success of the program can vary a lot from company to company. Based on my experience, the following can provide some guidance.
- Commitment from the top
If there is a genuine commitment from executives, senior managers, and supervisors then programs are more likely to be a success. Through my time, I have seen CEO’s and other executives participating in warm-up for work programs with all the other staff and conversely, I have had senior managers be disgruntled and saying a similar program was a waste of time and affecting work efficiency. Needless to say, the first group had a far greater participation rate than the second group.
- Opportunity for all employees to engage
Providing a genuine chance for all employees to engage in programs is also crucial. This means scheduling services that provide the opportunity for all staff to participate. I have had the experience of seeing lunchtime group exercise sessions being run where half of the workforce is out on the road at that time and no chance to participate. When I quizzed the program co-ordinator about arranging a time that would suit a greater number of staff, they brushed it off that ‘they wouldn’t want to participate anyway’. It was unfortunate to see half of the workforce being left out.
- Communicate to ALL staff
Along similar lines to the previous point, it is important to ensure all staff are aware of the health and wellbeing programs that are being provided. Staff working in different areas will need to be communicated differently. A company wide email is great, but if half of the staff don’t have access or use their company email then it is pointless. Other options can include direct supervisors and managers discussing these programs at toolbox talks and encouraging staff to participate. A personal touch goes a long way to increasing engagement in these programs.
- Constant review and evaluation
What works for one company might not work for another. If the program you implemented was not as successful as you hoped it would be then it doesn’t necessarily mean it failed. Using some of the strategies above to help promote the program may assist such as better communication or encouraging greater support from senior managers. It may also be that your organisation is unique and needs a more tailored approach to run health and wellbeing programs.
Absolute Balance has a wealth of experience in running corporate health, wellbeing, and injury prevention programs. If you are struggling to engage your workforce and want some advice from someone with a vast knowledge of running programs, please contact Aaron from Absolute Balance at firstname.lastname@example.org
(BSc – ExHealth, BSc – ExRehab, Dip WHS, Cert IV TAE)
Health & Injury Prevention Services Manager (AEP) (ESSAM)