UHA Worksite Wellness

No Time to Waste: Strategies for a Quick Workplace Wellness Implementation

Written by Valerie Au on June 05, 2015. Posted in Well-Being, Featured2, Post

Want a healthier workplace ASAP? Creating a culture of wellness may seem like a daunting, long-term task, but there are some relatively simple ways you can design and implement effective programming – even under time constraints. Follow these strategies to get your program up and running quickly.

  • Adjust Your Mindset
    Time remains the popular barrier to better wellness for individuals and companies. Ask yourself what you can do with 3 hours per month devoted to building a company wellness program? Or, continue thinking someday we’ll have a company wellness culture after we get projects A, B and C completed. Last we checked, the day is 24 hours long and not getting any longer, so commit the 3 hours per month and get started today.
  • Enlist Help: Create a Wellness Committee
    More qualified hands make light work! Gather team members who are passionate about wellness and assign everyone a unique role tailored to their strengths – little to no overlap means less work redundancy. Ideally, your Wellness Committee should include employees from different areas of your company as this will make it easier to share information quickly across several departments.
  • Speed Up “Buy In” From Staff: Appoint Champions
    Poll your employees and ask them to identify employees who already serve as positive role models and leaders within your team. Your Champions should be fairly visible and well-respected and trusted throughout your organization. S/he should be passionate about leading by example and helping others. Champions are a huge help in quickly building momentum for any wellness programming; they’ll serve as a testament to the power of wellness, and encourage others to get on board. An out of shape, well-respected employee interested in creating health habits makes for an excellent Champion. Skip over selecting an employee who is disliked and may be a successful triathlete competitor.
  • Make Small (and Immediate) Changes
    Nothing derails an implementation like slow adoption of change. Find ways to nudge staff in the right direction by making incremental –yet noticeable – changes in your workplace. Offer healthy snacks at meetings and take breaks to stretch at regular intervals – not next month, not next meeting. Today and Tomorrow. Invite sedentary office staff to take a quick walk, conduct walking meetings, or stand-up and refill your water cup for a drink of water throughout the day. Positive change doesn’t have to be big – but in order for staff to get on board, it has to start immediately and become known.
  • Schedule Group Activities To Create New Habits
    Do you want to get your entire staff involved right away? Schedule group activities to get everyone involved from Day 1 and keep the momentum going. For example, start a walking club and encourage different team members to take turns picking the route – mark on a calendar or white board when the group is walking and stick to that schedule. The faster you can get the whole group in the habit of making healthy choices, the better. It’s easier to stick to a healthy habit if there are others involved.

If you want to capitalize on all the benefits of workplace wellness, but have to get your program up and running on a short deadline, use that excitement to propel your implementation. With thorough research, a little team effort and small, but effective changes, you can have your whole workplace participating in no time at all. You’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

Valerie Au

Worksite Wellness Program Manager; Vice Chair, Hawaii Health at Work Alliance (HH@WA) Board of Directors

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