For employers, if you really want to show that you care, you have to create space within the employees’ workday for wellness initiatives. It comes at a price but does communicate to your employees that you really care. Even facilitating 10 minutes at the beginning of a shift to do stretching or breathing can go a long way.
Another tip would be that when you start a program, make sure to do a self-test to see where everyone is at. We did a survey facilitated by Healthy Workplaces and we also did a small test that allowed employees to gauge their own wellbeing. These were small things, like ‘stand on one foot for 20 seconds,’ or ‘run on the spot for 1 minute’. These tests helped show our employees what level their personal wellbeing was at. If they couldn’t do them, then it showed that there were some things they could work on. It was a bit of a wakeup call for some of our employees and showed them that maybe they weren’t as fit as they thought they were. Again, these very small and practical exercises showed people where there was room to improve and what their baseline was.
Overall, I would say the biggest thing is to make wellness programs a personal experience. Otherwise, it is so easy to just sit down and listen. But when you make it personal, people are more likely to actively participate. Then, you have engagement. And that’s when you can really make an impact.