Creating a network of wellness champions to actively support their company’s wellness program can be critical to its success. These champions keep employees engaged, motivated, and working towards better health. But who keeps the champions, themselves, engaged and motivated?
Sure, your champions have a natural love for wellness. But like everyone else, they have busy schedules, and their commitment to wellness takes precious time out of their already busy days. It takes a special, positive attention to keep their energy, enthusiasm for wellness, and determination up so they can pass these feelings along to the rest of your employees.
Here are five key ways to make being a member of your wellness champion network a rewarding experience:
Keep it Light
Filling the role of wellness champion is a responsibility to work above and beyond business as usual, but it shouldn’t feel that way. The time commitment should be as few hours as possible. Research has shown that a champion contributes an average of 12 hours a month on wellness activities. Also, keep the meeting atmosphere light and upbeat. Establishing a regular, ongoing, two-way conversation is critical to program success.
Keep timing tight by preparing an agenda. Remember to leave time for everyone to:
- Share local initiatives
- Celebrate victories
- Voice concerns and suggestions
Pro Tip: Ice breakers live up to their name and help everyone get to know each other. We like Two Truths and a Lie, but a quick Google search can yield plenty of other options.
Let your wellness champions know that they’re volunteering to do more than boost engagement in their workplace wellness program. Sure, helping others and learning about their own personal health and wellness is all well and good. But they’re gaining valuable leadership skills, C-suite recognition, networking opportunities, and experience in areas outside of their initial job description.
Every champion loves to hear the roar of an adoring crowd, even if it comes in the form of a quick acknowledgement at a company meeting – so celebrate whenever you can! And when you do, be sure to include everyone who played any part in the victory, from the home run leader, to that guy who made sure everyone was well-hydrated.
Other ways to give shout-outs are company newsletters, emails or in person. The simple act of stopping by to surprise a champion with an acknowledging pat on the back can go a long way, especially if you can get a member of your executive team to do it.
Get Upper Management Participation
Speaking of management, get them as involved as possible. Beyond the networking and recognition touched on above, managers can become an example and show the rest of your champions how it’s done.
Their presence, both as champions and as participants in their own wellness programs can make it much easier for other employees to take that first step and get involved.
Make Projects Fun
A recent US survey noted that many employees would be open to participating in a company’s wellness program, but 69% said that they weren’t aware that their organizations had workplace well-being initiatives at all. Of all the setbacks wellness programs are faced with, awareness should be one of the easiest to solve.
A fact like this can become an opportunity. Wellness program meetings, events, and projects should be fun…so make it into a fun poster-making assignment for your champions! Present it to your wellness champions, then roll your sleeves up and get to work brainstorming ideas or designing emails to ensure your program never falls prey to this easily avoidable pitfall.
However you approach building your wellness champion network, make sure their responsibilities feel less like responsibilities and more like benefits. At Gympass, we believe that wellness champions who feel empowered and rewarded lead to employees who will also feel empowered and rewarded. Keep things light (and fun) and brief. That way your champions will stay energised and continue to see this role as the best part of their otherwise busy lives.