This is the last in our four-part series about wellness champions.
So, I’ve got a team of wellness champions in place! Now what?
First, you’ll want sit down with champions and review your company’s resources (and you may want to hold similar sessions annually, or whenever the company makes big changes to its well-being options). Make sure champions are aware of what’s available to colleagues. Remember, well-being is a holistic concept, and champions don’t only have to be focused on physical wellness! So bring them up-to-speed on company resources in areas of mental, emotional, social, spiritual and financial well-being. Champions don’t have to know the ins and outs of each service, but they should be able to point interested colleagues in the right direction.
Next, look at your wellness calendar. Outline the ways that the company plans on promoting its wellness initiatives, then sit down with your champions and brainstorm additional things that everyone can do to encourage participation. For example, can champions bring a laptop to the cafeteria to sign employees up for wellness challenges? Can they round up people in their department to head to the wellness fair or get their flu shots?
Once you’ve addressed the resources and initiatives that are on the books, you can get creative! Start brainstorming. Ask for champion feedback on additional ways to encourage overall well-being throughout the year. Find out which wellness issues they think are the most pressing, and how they think the company could address them.
Are there “lulls” in your wellness calendar that can be filled? Are there other wellness concerns (such as, say, limited healthy options in the cafeteria) that champions think need addressing? Fun wellness events the company could take part in? Here is where your champions can really start to help you develop new ideas and implement new strategies to create that culture of health.
How will my champions and my wellness team stay on the same page?
As it is in most aspects of business, clear, consistent communication
- Document champion responsibilities and expectations. Outline do’s and don’ts. If you decide to put metrics around the success of your wellness champion network, make sure champions know what’s being measured and how! Make sure each champion has or can easily access a copy of this information.
- Set regular meetings among champions and wellness team leaders (we recommend monthly meetings, if possible). These meetings will help you understand what impact your initiatives are having, what challenges your champions are facing, and what new opportunities for encouraging healthy choices are out there. If you can, designate one champion to send meeting notes or summaries to all champions after each meeting.
- Consider creating a wellness champions webpage or portal on your company intranet. This could be where you post tips for how champions can help spread the good word of well-being, news about potential upcoming initiatives, and informational articles about general health and wellness. You can include links to company well-being resources, areas for submitting new ideas, etc.
- Schedule regular emails to champions. You don’t have to construct a formal newsletter, but sending out ideas for promotion, shout-outs to champions who are having an impact, updates to company wellness resources, etc. Stay top-of-mind!
How will I know if my champions are getting the job done?
It never hurts to check in to make sure your champions are doing a great job.
- Conduct an annual survey asking for employee feedback on the wellness champion network and its impact.
- Use company intranets and newsletters to encourage colleagues to contact the wellness team and provide feedback on their own.
- Allow colleagues to nominate champions for a wellness champion of the year or champion of the quarter award.
- Measure your champions’ impact on the success of your wellness programs. Did participation or resource utilization increase? Did overall health metrics improve?
- Track healthy changes that were brainstormed and implemented by champions. Does half of the admin team take walking breaks together now that one champion started the trend? Are there now healthy food options in the vending machines thanks to champions’ advocacy? Are employees taking advantage of the new bike racks and walking paths that champions lobbied for?
As you can see, creating and nurturing a network of wellness champions takes some . But that work can be well worth the effort if it helps your wellness initiatives stick, and grow. Your network of wellness champions will provide a much-needed social component to your wellness program – and that social component just may be what you need to establish that authentic, highly-coveted culture of health.