Irish people have become increasingly health conscious. On the whole, we are a well-informed bunch when it comes knowing we should be eating healthy, understanding the importance of exercise and the significance of mental health issues. However, knowing about these things is only the beginning, and we really struggle to put our good intentions into action!
According to Bord Bia research, 70% of Irish people would like help with maintaining a healthier diet. We also make a direct link between stress and work life. According to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 22% of Irish workers experience stress at work either ‘‘all the time’’ or ‘‘most of the time’’. On top of this, less than a third of us get the appropriate amount of exercise, mainly because we simply do not have the time.
But you probably know a lot of this already if you’ve found yourself here. We don’t need to convince you that a healthy workforce is a happy, more productive workforce with less absenteeism and reduced health care costs… No, you’re here to find out how to make a wellness programme that works, so let’s get to it!
Form a wellness committee
Only a team of the right people can make your wellness programme work. Therefore, you should gather a few carefully selected people from all levels of the organisation. But how do you choose them? Those with roles that have an interest in employee health would be a good start. This can include people from HR, occupational health, the cafeteria, etc. As with all organisation-wide projects, it is invaluable to have senior management support.
Find out what help people need
Now it is time to determine what are people’s health pain points. You can gather this information with a simple anonymous survey and by leaving the door open for anyone who wants to lend their own personal recommendations/expertise – you never know, you may have a yoga teacher in your midst and not know it!
To make good use of the information you receive, it is important to have a clear understanding of the organisation’s environment, culture as well as general employee demographics. There is no point setting up a bike-to-work scheme if people are too far away to cycle. Also, you will need to have a place to securely store those bikes! Research can be the most time-consuming part of setting up your wellness programme, but it is well worth it if it gets people actively engaged for the long-run.
Design your wellness programme
Having a clear budget is essential before you start designing the programme, so make sure that is clarified first and foremost. Otherwise, even if the wellness programme is a success, it may not get the support to continue if it goes over budget.
Once that’s out of the way, you can focus on the fun stuff! We would suggest setting daily, weekly and monthly events and goals. Use the findings from your research to decide what kind of events and goals would engage people the most. Make sure there is a bit of variety and that the events are scheduled at times that make sense for the people they are targeting.
Building healthy habits is all about consistent repetition. In fact, science says it takes 66 days to form a new habit. This can vary from person to person and how difficult the new habit is, but you can see how the scheduling aspect of a wellness programme can strongly determine its success.
Kick off in style
Do you want your wellness programme to be a success? Then start off as though it already is! This is your excuse to create a bit of fanfare in the office, and everyone will appreciate that. We’re talking posters, balloons, flyers, banners, and newsletters. Get everyone on the wellness committee to brainstorm ideas for the big day.
A fresh piece of fruit on everyone’s desk can make people pay attention while also adding a personal touch. Can you convince a leader figure in the organisation to set an example? They could get the first flu jab or cycle to work or even just publicly announce what his/her personal goal is for the wellness programme.
There are two types of evaluation: 1) the individual’s evaluation, and 2) the wellness committee’s evaluation.
- Make sure people have a way to track their progress individually. You can suggest an application for this or provide a special journal or even just a print-out. Let them map their success and collect rewards along the way!
- Anytime you have a special event, evaluate how it went afterwards. Did people enjoy themselves? Did it go to plan? Was it too complicated? Too costly? Was it helpful to peoples’ needs? Some events will be such a big success it will be obvious to rerun them. Others you may simply have to ditch. The point is to keep it fun. The wellness programme is a 100% positive contribution to everyone in your organisation and should be celebrated.
Are you ready to set up your wellness programme? If you need some inspiration to start you off don’t forget us, we deliver boxes of fresh, juicy fruit to offices all over Dublin! Did you know that we offer a free trial for your first delivery of office fruit? Simply click here to inquire about a FREE Office Fruit Box.