Many businesses and corporations are jumping on board the health promotion band wagon by offering their employees gym memberships, active breaks, and lunch and learn opportunities. The fact is, a healthy employee is a productive employee. Unfortunately, many programs fail at drawing in the expected excitement, appreciation, and employee participation leaving this great initiative dead in the water. While preaching to the converted is easy, getting buy in, from those employees who would rather poke their eye out with a pencil than join a yoga class, is a daunting (and otherwise impossible) task.
So how does an excited health promoter spread the word of wellness without scaring off the rest of the office?
1. Don’t Be a Cheerleader for Health
There are two types of people in the world. One type (“Type A”) thrives on getting up at the crack of dawn to join other “Type As” in a group exercise before the rest of the world hits the alarm. While the other type (“the rest of us”) would rather get a root canal. Let’s face it, health promoters are cheerleaders for health and while this is great when motivating a fitness class, it is less than ideal when trying to generate motivation among the disinterested.
The key to promoting wellness in the workplace is being aware that not all employees share our passion for fitness, veggies, and yoga pants. Many people would rather go to the neighbourhood pub with friends for lunch (and skip the spandex and veggie sticks). So how do we make our wellness program attractive to everyone? Getting to know our staff (and what interests and motivates them) is the first step coupled with a healthy respect for individual differences.