The “Social” Side of Wellness

Are you looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of your workplace wellness program? Have you considered social networking as a low-cost solution?  This easily accessible approach can increase participation and retention, help improve employee behaviors, and save your organization money.

Below are some examples of the benefits of adding social networking to a wellness program.

Increases Participation

Social networking allows colleagues to challenge each other to participate in wellness initiatives in ways that traditional wellness programs cannot. The peer-to-peer dynamics online and offline can increase employee participation and engagement.

One consideration is creating Facebook® groups for employees, depending on their wellness interests. Employees can invite others to join the group and become more involved. If some of your employees are interested in running, create a “Running Club” group where members can post dates and times of group runs, races they plan on running, or goals such as running a certain number of times each week. Once a few groups are created, invite employees to create groups of their own and encourage their colleagues to participate.

Keeps Employees Involved

It can be difficult to find new ideas and initiatives to keep wellness programs fresh. And it’s always a challenge to find a way to reach employees outside the workplace. With social networking, employees can create their own groups and share information about topics that are important to them. This can result in a more long-term Wireless Computer Mouseengagement with the wellness program.

Once employees have found the wellness area that they’re interested in improving, they are much more likely to stick with the program. Finding others with similar goals is also important for staying with the program. With help from social networking outlets, employees can find exactly what they’re looking for and get involved with other employees who have similar interests. Achieving wellness goals is much easier when you’re not in it alone. Social networking can help employees stay in the program, whether they are tapping into an outlet to plan group workouts or just finding moral support.

Modifies Behaviors

Those around you have a tremendous impact on your health – if your employees see colleagues losing weight, quitting smoking, increasing their exercise or otherwise embracing a healthier lifestyle, they will be more likely to join in and do so as well. You can help employees adopt healthy behaviors by increasing peer influence through social networking.

One notion is to consider using a corporate Twitter® account to post health and wellness articles, information and success stories. When employees “follow” you, they will receive overall wellness information as well as examples of how others are embracing a healthier lifestyle. This is a simple way to continue to connect with employees about wellness as frequently as you would like. Adopting healthy behaviors doesn’t happen right away, but social networking can help keep health and wellness on employees’ radar year-round.

Easy & Budget-Friendly

Don’t have a large budget for financial incentives related to your wellness program? Social media is free and public recognition within these mediums can be very influential in reaching the goals of your wellness program.

Social media can be a great outlet for recognizing employees as a component of an incentive-based program. Consider posting names of incentive winners to create company-wide awareness for the program. If there is a prize associated with the recognition, make that known as well. The public recognition will encourage others to meet incentives and continue to embrace a healthier lifestyle into the future.

What wellness initiative will work for your company? Contact your Caravus employee benefit consultant for more information about available programs.

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc. Twitter® is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc.