A major reason why employees feel their work leaders don’t care much about their well-being is because the leadership isn’t seen participating in the company wellness programs. “How can leadership care about my health if they don’t seem to care about their own?” Here are eight examples of how leadership can support wellness program participation and be involved and contributing to everyone’s success and wellness.

Support Wellness Program Participation

Impact When Leadership Can Support Wellness Program Participation

When your high level leaders are seen caring about their employees’ health and well-being, it goes a lot farther than the basic “job well done” speech at yearly reviews. Words are important, but actions speak a lot louder. Use these examples to spark ideas on how you can create greater impact with your organization.

Participate In The Current Campaigns Going On At Your Work Site

Your employees’ well-being directly affects your company and how well it exists. Your employees don’t want lip service from you when you claim that participation in the company challenges is great. If they don’t see you actively engaged in your organization’s wellness campaigns, you may as well not have the campaigns in the first place.

Work with your WellSteps Guide on all of the campaign ideas you can put into place in order to support wellness program participation. Talk about those taking place, what your thoughts are about it, and what you’re doing to participate. You can share this directly with your managers, in announcements at the beginning of meetings, and in company emails that are sent to all employees.

RELATED: Unique Wellness Campaign Ideas for Building Effective Employee Wellness Campaigns

Set Your Own Health Goals and Share Your Stories Around Them

Plants that don’t grow are unhealthy and eventually die. Same goes for human beings. If we’re not physically, mentally, or emotionally growing in some way through a goal, our lives aren’t fulfilling. We’re not enriching the experiences we have with others around us either.

Always have a health goal. Talk about it as a leader during the appropriate settings with your employees. Share your struggle, what you want to improve, and how you’re going to do it, what your plan is. Incorporate how the current company campaigns work with your goals and success you have because of it.

Support Wellness Program Participation

Don’t forget to be open about the difficulties along the way and what you’re doing to overcome them. You’re not trying to be a perfect examples for everyone you lead, you’re simply guiding the way through your own human experiences with your health goals.

RELATED: 7 Ways How Senior Leaders Can Communicate Support For the Company Wellness Program

Use the Stairs Instead of the Elevators or Escalators at Work

As leaders are walking to and from meetings, especially with other employees (not just clients or customers) this can be a big deal. Just simply saying something like, “I want to take the stairs to get my steps in for the day,” or “Let’s climb the steps here instead because I always feel so much better when I do” makes a big impression. Then follow through on the action, of course.

Now, obviously, if you’ve got to go 20 floors up, give yourself some grace in not taking all 20 flights. But you can certainly go two or three, then use the elevator the rest of the way. If you need to use an escalator, you can still walk up and down it while it’s moving; that still counts.

RELATED: 13 Fun Workplace Wellness Challenge Ideas Your Employees Will Enjoy

Read Books That Increase Your Knowledge of Wellness and Share What You Learn

The book we recommend in this area is The Culprit and the Cure, by yours truly. It’s great at looking at how lifestyle diseases are created and how work plays a big role in that. It also discusses how creativity has been negatively affected from modern social time and what you can do about it in your company and personal life.

When employees see leaders that are invested in actually broadening their knowledge of wellness, they will be impressed with how you indirectly support wellness program participation. They may start going to their leaders to learn about solutions for themselves. Or even fully trust and believe their leaders’ commitment to everyone’s health because of their wealth of knowledge.

Share Pictures of Leaders in Community and Company Events

Make sure when you’re posting to the company social media, or sending out highlights in the company newsletters, include photos of the activities that both leaders and employees are engaged in. Make sure it’s not just about the high level leader, but inclusive of everyone.

Support Wellness Program Participation

Attendance at races, fundraisers, health events, and company related campaigns are great opportunities to increase the engagement of all employees because they can see how much their leadership is participating too.

RELATED: How to Use Wellness Programs to Boost Team Morale

Attend Company Webinars and Live Online Events

Perhaps your teams are spread across the world and in-person contact isn’t always possible. Leaders can hop onto live trainings or company hosted online events that big groups of employees see or attend. They can express gratitude to the staff and committee that runs the wellness program. It’s also a great place to extend invitations, share stories and testimonials, and talk about the current challenges or events happening.

The key here is that the leadership stays fully for the webinar or broadcast too. Hopping on for five minutes to steal the show may not seem as genuine to viewers. Even though things are happening digitally, conversations and connections about everyone’s wellness can be had even through a screen.

RELATED: 6 Strategies for Successful Wellness with Remote Workers

Work With Committees to Create Focus Groups to Support Wellness Program Participation

Wellness committees are fantastic, especially when working with a WellSteps Guide to create, manage, and optimize a program that helps everyone. However, not everyone on that committee may understand the needs of the entire company. It’s just as important for the top leadership to be involved alongside the entry-level employees, middle management, and from all departments.

Bringing a high level leader to the current focus groups, or at least reviewing their results is paramount. Hopefully, the leader will convey their perspective on the topics at hand as a personable human being on the same level. They can create a space or opportunity for even more growth for the wellness of their employees because of their involvement.

Share Favorite Healthy Recipes

Every employee may not get to enjoy a potluck with the CEO. But everyone can know what meals the CEO enjoys when working toward their own health goals. Your leaders can include their favorite recipes in wellness emails to employees, or featured in the company newsletter. If possible, have it tailored to the current wellness challenge or campaign going on.

The recipes could highlight supporting a certain health goal, such as sufficient nutrients to support running a 5k, lower calories to lose weight, or just increasing the quantity of vegetables in someone’s diet. When employees see that their leaders value their nutrition to support success in their goals, it can motivate and inspire them to try such recipes in order to reach their goals as well.

Next Steps In How Leadership Can Support Participation in Company Wellness Programs

Being a leader in a company certainly has big responsibilities, and needing to take on more to support the employees’ wellness can seem daunting. Participating in events and conversations may overwhelming your already huge to-do list of priorities. You don’t have to do it alone! That’s what WellSteps is here for.

You can schedule a free demo with our team and discover how we can take most of the aspects of your wellness program off of your plate. Then you can stand back, do what you do best, and still see the results of increased wellness come to fruition with your people and your organization. Connect with us today!

About The Author

Dr. Steve Aldana

Dr. Aldana is the CEO of Wellsteps, a worksite wellness solution that leads the nation in wellness program deployment and engagement. Dr. Aldana authored over 75 scientific papers and 7 books on health risk management, healthy living, and health promotion programs. He has given over 350 keynote speeches across the U.S. on the ability of good nutrition and regular exercise to prevent, arrest, and reverse many chronic diseases.