How to improve employee engagement when launching your new health and wellbeing strategy
When you’re launching a new health and wellbeing strategy, you need to be proactive in the way you publicise it. After all, your workers won’t be able to access benefits if they don’t know they exist.
Here are four tips to increase employee engagement when launching your new health and wellbeing strategy
In this article, we’ll draw on examples from our experience launching our own strategy, which was named ‘Working Well, Living Better’. This will provide you with a case study that you can use as the basis for your own launch.
1. Invite employees to help name the health and wellbeing strategy
How do you encourage employees to feel part of the strategy from the outset?
A good idea is to get employees involved in naming the new strategy. Invite your employees to submit their suggestions for a name and choose the best one via a vote – or something along these lines.
Giving employees control of the name helps them take ownership of the strategy from the very beginning – it’s their name, for their benefits programme.
This is exactly what we did for our own launch. We invited employees from our strategy working group to put forward their name suggestions, and they came up with ‘Working Well, Living Better’.
2. Run a range of launch activities to get employees engaged
Once the strategy was named, we celebrated its launch with a week of activities. Each day’s activities matched a separate theme of the strategy.
For example, on Monday, our mental health day, we launched our wellness action plans, encouraged teams to take lunch together and placed positive statements, such as ‘Actually, I can’ and ‘I am in charge of how I feel’, in and around the workplace to support positive thinking. On Wednesday, we placed the spotlight on work relationships. Friday was our chance to look at physical health, when we ran active sessions, including ‘The Benenden Health Walk’, stretching sessions and fitness classes.
There are many benefits to organising a range of launch activities. First, it’s easy to tailor your activities to the specific themes of your strategy, to create a week that reflects your initiatives exactly.
Plus, it’s a great talking point for employees. As they get involved in the different activities, they start thinking about the new strategy and the benefits on offer to them.
And getting employees to talk about their health is crucial as it not only helps to open a dialogue in the workplace about health, but it also encourages employees to take responsibility for their wellbeing.
To help with this, we created a series of posters which you can use to start conversations about health in your own workplace. Read on for more details.
3. Focus on line managers to support employee engagement when launching your health and wellbeing strategy
The line manager is a key communication point between decision-makers and the workforce. If they aren’t aware of the benefits on offer, they can end up acting as a barrier – potentially undoing all the great work you’re doing to implement a health and wellbeing strategy in the first place. That’s why you need to specifically target this group in your launch.
In addition, we can’t ignore the impact of the relationship between manager and employee as it’s a key predictor of wellbeing at work. A poor relationship, where an employee feels unsupported or not listened to, could impact their knowledge and take up of wellbeing initiatives and negatively affect their wellbeing whereas a secure relationship can protect and enhance wellbeing.
Providing line managers with the tools to learn about the new health and wellbeing strategy will inform managers of the new initiatives available, so they can promote them within their team moving forward and work together to create a healthy working environment, as well as encouraging buy-in from the whole workforce.
4. The launch of your strategy is a huge opportunity to improve employee engagement
Launching a new health and wellbeing strategy is an unparalleled opportunity to talk to employees about the new benefits at hand.
By focusing on line managers and organising activities that celebrate the range of benefits on offer, your new strategy will find the reception it deserves.
To help you get the conversation started about your employee’s health we’ve designed a series of posters to support employees with their physical, financial and mental health that you can download and use around the workplace.
If you’d like more guidance on improving employee engagement by developing and launching your own health and wellbeing strategy take a look at our FREE health and wellbeing guide.
Develop your own health and wellbeing strategy
Our 50+ page guide takes you through the five key stages to creating a health and wellbeing strategy at your company, now including a Benenden Health case study. The guide includes advice on:
- Planning your approach
- Getting management buy-in and securing budget
- Developing your strategy
- Launch your health and wellbeing strategy
- Reviewing and refreshing your strategy
To access the full guide simply complete the form and download.
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