Corporate Health Programs – Be Rewarded and Be Healthy
I continue with the thread of my previous two blogs about Building a Culture of Health, with focus on Corporate Health/Wellness Programs. Often Employee fitness and health programs are unable to achieve the desired engagement and outcome due to a disconnect between the program construct and employee expectations/needs. It doesn’t need to be so.
Professional intervention, a supportive management and active employee feedback in tweaking the program construct can help turn around its effectiveness and ensure employees leave with rewarding takeaways for life.
I share a real-life example to elucidate the above.
I was called to conduct a workshop at a regional office of a company in another city. I was briefed about the concept of the workshop. Participants of the workshop were members of the winning sales team of the region and had been rewarded a trek by the company for surpassing the set sales targets. (As part of the employee wellness program and as a way for them to become more active). Upon interacting with participants I sensed they were more wary than excited and that their pressing concerns were a bit different.
Active employee feedback.
The Sales Team had tough working hours hopping from one area to another executing their sales jobs. They experienced erratic hours, long/frequent travels and little or no diet control. They were not sure if they would be able to handle the demands of a trek (even though it wasn’t a difficult one). The time at their disposal to pursue fitness was very limited and the desire to do so not at all. Spending the time available with friends and family ranked higher and naturally so. At the same time, most had concerns about the state of their health and wanted solutions at more basic levels.
Re-aligning the program construct.
With the help of a proactive and supportive management, the workshop construct was re-aligned to the pressing concerns of the Sales Team. We proceeded to address their existing lifestyle with focus on small solutions they could adopt without feeling daunted and for which they could engage their friends and family as well. Individual issues were categorized and addressed accordingly. Tips to manage diet while on the move were offered, so were techniques to reduce stress. Small modules of exercises and stretches were designed to cater to their specific needs (ranging from 10 minutes to 20 minutes to 30-40 minutes for those who later expressed desire to pursue them) while making them slowly ready for the trek. We also addressed posture at work and how small active breaks could be built into their days. The challenge was to boost confidence and make them look eagerly at active outings.
High level of team engagement as the program was delivering practical solutions for their pain-points. The Sales Team went back with the awareness that small can be big and making positive health changes doesn’t have to always start big or fancy.