Communicating With Purpose and Power
Health and wellness professionals often face an uphill battle when attempting to shift the conversation around wellness. How do we encourage our leadership, employees, and other important stakeholders to embrace wellness — personally and professionally? Understanding the key drivers of your organization’s overall goals will help you better communicate the reasons in which your employees should consider improving their health.
According to a Gallup survey, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. By first understanding your leadership team’s drivers, goals, and values — you can begin to weave your wellness initiatives into the fabric of your organization’s overall goals.
“At WELCOA, an important part of my role is to not just define organizational priorities, but to help my team understand how investing in their own wellness helps support those objectives. No one can believe that their own wellness does not have an impact on the health of the organization; it is an imperative for our business and allows us to deliver on our mission and support those we serve.”
— Ryan Picarella, CEO of WELCOA
There are 4 main characteristics of a supportive leader for successful workplace wellness programs. The first is communication. Supportive leaders for employee wellness recognize good work, focus on strengths, and consistently communicate the connection between the broader purposes of the organization and the employee wellness strategy. Specifically, they:
- Communicate the wellness message clearly and frequently
- Define a clear and compelling vision
- Recognize and appreciate accomplishments
- Focus on strengths
- Encourage feedback
- Are transparent in communication to earn trust
Start by surveying your company’s leadership support for wellness. Here’s a useful survey that takes the guess work out of the questions you should ask and helps you get to the heart of the matter.
Ask Your Employees
Similar to leadership, by asking what your employee’s value personally — you will start to uncover how you might find common ground and better communicate the value of your wellness program. Start by discovering the type of data to collect to understand what your employees need to be successful and foster a work culture that supports their goals.
In the recent, 2018 Employee Engagement Trends report from Quantum Workplace, they found the top drivers of employee engagement fell into five categories. These categories mirror several aspects of WELCOA’s Definition of Wellness.
- Growth: “My job allows me to utilize my strengths.”
- Connection: “I trust the senior leadership team to lead the company to future success.”
- Achievement: “I believe this organization will be successful in the future.”
- Meaning: “The leaders of the organization value people as their most important resource.”
- Resiliency: “If I contribute to the organization’s success, I know I will be recognized.”
You can ask employees via survey, focus group, or other methods about what specific benefits or resources they are interested in. Ask about their core values and motivators, and even about specific lifestyle goals they have set and whether they have been successful. Consider these clarifying questions:
- In the next 6 months, if you could get any kind of training, what would it be and why?
- What areas of professional development interest you at this point in your career?
- Recognize and appreciate accomplishments
- What do you wish you could do more often/less often?
- Do you know your top strengths, and are you able to use them on a regular basis in your role here?
Instead of offering solutions that only address one-off issues, ask your employees what you can actually do to help them with their health issues and concerns. What’s at the root? Use this survey to help you understand your employees’ needs and interests and identify which of the major elements of your culture that need to be addressed — to better communicate the value of wellness in your organization.
While this might be a no-brainer for most, it’s important to reflect on why we are motivated to improve the health and well-being of the employees we serve. Take a moment to consider these questions and create your own vision board for wellness.