Engaging local or main-office employees in wellness programs can be challenging enough, let alone remote employees or offices. However, engaging your remote populations is equally, if not more, important than your more populated locations as it reinforces your commitment to wellness, creates fairness boosting morale/increasing retention, and expands the efforts to keep more of your employees healthy. In this session, we will discuss best practices to engage remote employees in wellness programs, including:
- Senior leadership support.
Senior leaders should not only sign the contract and write the checks, but they should be the ones hosting walking meetings when they visit remote work sites and sharing their own successes and challenges with employees.
- Employee buy-in.
Before you begin designing your wellness program, let your employees provide input on what they would like to see. Pay particularly close attention to how responses may differ from remote employees.
- Virtual activities.
Technology allows employees to engage in challenges, attend webinars, or meet with health professionals regardless of where they are. This helps foster a sense of inclusion among this population.
- Wellness champions.
Wellness champions are recognized as an effective way to integrate and expand well-being efforts throughout an organization. Take the time to identify a few individuals who support and role model program efforts and reward them. Consider also rewarding locations (not just individual employees) for creating a culture of wellness within the workplace.
- Success stories.
It’s easy to see the success of your colleague who sits next to you as he has started bringing his lunch daily and takes walking breaks throughout the day. But recognizing employees in remote locations in your company newsletter, meetings, intranet, etc. demonstrates to your organization that success is also happening across locations and in employee’s homes. This recognition may inspire others.
Kisha Alexander, Ph.D., MPH, CHES
Director of Wellness