Your health is your wealth: like super you need to bank it early on and keep making deposits – a fresh positive mindset, healthy food and exercise you enjoy. I call this the VitalityBankTM. This works the same for companies who are investing in training, leadership, wellness and personal development for employees and contractors. Unless teams have a positive mindset to use the facilities and the support provided, companies will not reap the rewards or gain the return on investment.
If you can ignite accountability, along with inspiration and connection to personal goals – you can achieve incredible results it a shorter period of time, with less resources and a natural momentum.
According to an OptumTM research study  employee wellness programs are most effective when the attitude of the employee is positive towards being healthy and adopting the initiatives provided. The findings showed those who worked in companies that emphasised health as a part of daily culture, felt that they had more control over maintaining a healthy lifestyle at work, than employees working for companies who did not create positive culture for health and wellbeing. (92 versus 72 percent)
In essence it’s no use having a fancy wellness program and benefits for your teams unless they are inspired and actually want to improve their lifestyle both at work and at home.
Creating a true sense of team vitality impacts your overall bottom line by:
- increased team cohesiveness
- shared accountability
The key to create lasting change is to ensure teams at all levels recognise that there is a seamless link between being healthy and home and at work. Starting with leadership and senior management, does goal setting language and KPI’s include personal wellbeing, a positive approach and practical support for momentum.
There are 3 key pillars to team vitality with wellness programs and improve your bottom line
- Follow Up
Let’s consider these three key pillars in more detail.
1. Connectivity: Connectivity to the program and the way it’s rolled out
Productivity and workplace energies lift when people feel recognised, connected and ‘considered’ within the corporate environment. Is your program allowing teams to consider their own personal goals for both home and work that are relevant, achievable and make sense? Often it’s the simplest things that create the biggest impact.
Helping your teams plan their friends, family time, looking at how to schedule exercise within their week as a whole – including the weekends or find ways to eat healthier overall can be life changing.
I use our Vitality Road Map workshops as a forum where they can share ideas and challenges and keep them visible so other team members can check in and show support. The buddy system is a great way to pick up momentum, improve communications and keep people feeling connected. This is especially important for shift work too.
2. Accountability – visible shared goals and milestones agreed upfront
By encouraging the sharing of personal goals and challenges along with stretch goals and KPIS incentives – productivity increases. Teams with a shared sense of purpose, connection and motivation want to do and be their personal best as individuals, and encourage their colleagues along the way. This comes down to transparent milestones and accountability.
I start right from the first workshop – we determine what the milestones and accountability measures are going to be. Each company must identify their key KPI’s and the additional wellbeing and mindset elements that can be used for measuring success. What does success look like, how can we tell people are happy, connected and making personal change. How do we monitor it. We set this all up from the first day, directly related to the leadership team and how they can then share this with their direct reports.
Wellness goals are integrated in performance reviews alongside with financial targets, quarterly stretch goals, leadership and operations.
3. Follow Up – is this language, are the goals and is wellness integrated inside your company?
Regular quarterly check-in’s enable the accountability agreements to be monitored and measured. Are you following up?
A lack of discipline emerged as a top reason that people said they didn’t reach their wellbeing goals set by employers. Four in 10, to be exact. One-third also said there were too many unhealthy foods around.
The Optum study that asked employees questions about their biggest challenges to integrate wellness for the long term – not enough healthy choice or still feeling awkward about sharing personal goals were often the roadblocks. If you want to encourage positive vitality and behavioural change, then the workplace environment and management language need to reflect this initiative from the top down.
My tips for encouraging vitality
Make agenda time for fitness/workouts and fresh air sessions transparent, so teams can see when managers are making time for this.
Demonstrate clear planning and use of your wellness or vitality goals within work in progress meetings. Reward those that effectively show they integrate this as part of a winning week; not at the expense of productivity and key day to day tasks or performance – but as a value add balance for mental and physical wellbeing.
Lack of time is cited as the most common reason don’t make time for their wellbeing and fail at personal lifestyle goals. By helping your teams plan a winning week with all five elements you are giving them the tools to actually achieve the wellbeing goals and use the facilities you provide as an organisation. This follow up and use of weekly goals that acknowledge of personal and business combined is the ultimate formula for success.
Have healthy food and plenty of filtered water available. This should be non-negotiable as food intake directly relates to employees energy levels, mental stability during stressful projects, long term disease prevention and keeping your teams alert and well nourished. Add extra salad options to lunch menus, get rid of sweets at reception and ensure a weekly delivery of fresh crisp apples or healthy snacks that visitors and employees can have.
Look for the simplest ways you can show your teams that it is a priority. Get connected, agree accountability and milestones, follow up and make sure this is part of a winning week for the whole year.
Nikki Fogden-Moore specialises in working with CEO’s, entrepreneurs and high achievers in creating the life they want. She divides her time between private coaching, Corporate Vitality, Boardroom and bespoke retreats, workshops and presenting.
 Optum™ commissioned research with GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate