Bringing Your Team Together
May 11, 2017

Bringing Your Team Together:  Power Up Engagement This Year

There's a big gap between employer-sponsored wellness initiatives and employee engagement in these initiatives, and it's limiting the impact of efforts to promote wellness in the workplace.  Over three-quarters of Canadian and U.S. employers report that they offer workplace wellness programs (2014 Working Well Survey by Xerox's Buck Consultants).  But when employees were surveyed, 61% reported their employer does not provide programs or initiatives to promote health and wellness in the workplace, and 12% said they don't know (2016 Sun Life Canadian Health Index).

Employers are responding to the demand for wellness programs, but it seems like employees aren't reaping the benefits.  Whether your program metrics are being evaluated by HR or finance, the return on investment is underwhelming to say the least.  As an employer, what can you do?

Get The Word Out

Seize opportunities for communication and education. There are many different ways to keep employees informed about benefits and wellness in the workplace.  

When benefits providers send out newsletters or information bulletins, make sure to share excerpts from these with your staff.  Invite your benefits advisor to hold information sessions about your benefits plan.  Providing annual sessions like these ensures that new team members understand the programs available to them, and helps to refresh experienced employees' knowledge at the same time.  

Share employee assistance program (EAP) and wellness program provider resources like posters, flyers, and topical emails throughout your workplace.  Initiatives like Bell Let's Talk promoting mental health awareness and action, and Canada's Healthy Workplace Month in October, provide more opportunities to invite employees to get involved.  Reach out to your network and invite speakers to hold lunch and learn sessions about local fitness and wellness resources.

Get Involved

One of the best ways to inform and engage employees is by doing.  Lead by example!  There are lots of fun and inexpensive ways to get started.

Why not promote your wellness initiatives by signing up for the ParticipACTION 150 Playlist, and encourage your team members to join in by giving prizes for digital badges or team achievements.  On a smaller scale, you can foster workplace activities like lunchtime walking groups, stair-climbing instead of elevator use, and healthier snack alternatives at meetings like veggies instead of donuts (that's bound to get some attention!).  To learn about launching your own workplace wellness program, check out healthywork.ca for free supports and how-to steps.

Closing this gap between opportunity and participation is about more than the ROI on your wellness initiatives.  The dollars and cents of engagement are persuasive; it's true that healthy, happy workplaces are more productive.  But when you're spending 8 hours a day with your team, wouldn't you prefer a workplace that's more positive, more fun, and a more engaging place to be?  We think so too.

Call Beagle Benefits to learn more about introducing and communicating EAP and wellness initiatives as part of the benefits plan in your workplace.