You have all of these great ideas of wellness sessions to include in your program launch and you just know that employees are going to love this...or do you?
Without actually asking your team what they want in a wellness program, you're leaving yourself vulnerable to low (or no) participation in the events that took you hours to plan. Honestly, this is one of the reasons so many companies have yet to create a consistent wellness program when it comes to physical and mental health. But it doesn't have to be hard!
Use Employee Feedback to Create Your Employee Wellness Program
Here are the two questions that will help you understand what your team actually wants in their program BEFORE you put all of that effort into creating it.
#1: What are your biggest wellness challenges right now?
Sometimes people don't know what they want but they know what they need help with. You can leave this question open-ended or provide multiple choice options geared towards physical fitness, stress management and anything else you think may be relevant. Then leave an "Other" choice for those who want to be specific about their personal needs. This can give you some really great insight into what is going on with your team that they may not otherwise share.
#2: How much time are you willing to commit to wellness?
You can add in "during the work week" if your sessions will be on company time or "per session" to give you an idea of the length of session people are interested in attending. This can be really enlightening, as many teams - especially in the tech industry - only want 15-30 minute sessions, instead of 45-60 minute sessions. Typically, my Human Resources contacts want to give them an hour which is so generous. However, your team may be busy and wanting a break...but not a long one. Something quick to reset and get on with the rest of their day is perfect. Trust me, those shorter sessions are just as valuable as long ones. It's about providing a quality session, not necessarily the length that makes the impact.
Create Your Wellness Program Survey
You've got the questions. Now what? Actually ask them! Create a quick online survey using only these two questions or add others that make sense for your organization. I suggest making it anonymous so they feel comfortable truly sharing their wellness challenges. Email it to your team and ask them to complete it within the week. If it's not anonymous, you can offer an incentive or giveaway to the first few who complete the feedback form.
Use Employee Feedback to Design Wellness Sessions
It's all in the data now. Review the results and notice any trends. This should be really quick and easy if you only used my top two questions. Design your sessions to address the wellness challenge trends that you identify. Keep all of the sessions at a duration that falls in line with the feedback on how much time employees were willing to commit to wellness. Then launch and see what happens!
Corporate Wellness Programs Are Not Everything to Everyone
Remember, you're trying to offer company-provided options for wellness. This program doesn't have to cover every aspect of physical, emotional and mental health for all of your employees. Some people already workout regularly, eat a nutritious diet that makes sense for their bodies, but want to start meditating for stress management. Others may not have anything figured out in the wellness arena and will jump at the opportunity to attend all of the sessions you offer. Still others may not have wellness on their radar and aren't interested in the program at all.
I know you want to help everyone on your team (I'm the same way), but the best you can do is get their feedback, offer sessions based on that and continue updating the program when it makes sense. Employees will opt in when it makes sense for them and they'll be grateful that your organization gave them that opportunity to choose wellness!
If you're thinking, "that's totally easy but I barely had time to read this, never mind actually survey, review, coordinate, hire teachers and run the program", I've got you!
Check out our Wellness Program Design Services where we not only do all of that but also teach the sessions and workshops.
You kick back and wait for the monthly attendance reports to roll in!
About the Author:
Tiffany Lord is a corporate yoga coach and founder of Love + Asana, a virtual studio launched in 2016 offering workplace wellness sessions, workshops and program design. Her sessions incorporate movement and mindfulness focusing on benefits for stress relief and chronic pain. Tiffany’s fun, approachable style makes classes feel like you’re hanging out with friends while also improving your mental and physical health.
She is an E-RYT with the Yoga Alliance and currently enrolled in a 500-hour training with Yoga Medicine focusing on yoga applications for common range of motion issues. Continuing education in meditation, breathing techniques, myofascial release, yoga for COVID-19 recovery and training as a massage therapist help make her sessions relevant and beneficial to clients who want simple movement and mindfulness techniques that improve their quality of life. Her articles on wellness through yoga have been featured in online and print publications, such as fyi50+ and CO Yoga + Life magazine.
Questions? Contact Tiffany at firstname.lastname@example.org