It's fair to say that when it comes to wellness initiatives in the workplace, not everyone is keen to get involved. In fact, a common complaint from those who design wellness programmes is that, initially at least, the interest comes from those who are already taking steps to take care of themselves physically and mentally, and that the individuals in the business who would really benefit are nowhere to be seen.
How to make wellness appeal to everyone
Make it very clear that the benefits of your initiatives are as much about the individual as they are about the organisation. Who could refuse the idea of learning skills and strategies during work time that enable them to perform more effectively in every area of their life?
Many people will be looking for the quickest excuses they can find to opt out of wellness. You could set up 20 great initiatives but the fact that your on-site restaurant sells chips is enough for some people to interpret the wellness message as inconsistent and discredit everything you are trying to achieve.
There are three things that will help here.
1) Spend a little time anticipating all possible objections that staff may come up with to your wellness initiative and offer options and alternatives in as many situations as you can. Always be flexible with your approach.
2) Be consistent in all your communications that your programme is all about education, informed choice and personal responsibility. This will send a very strong message to your staff that you expect them to rise to the occasion.
3) Be patient. Remember that not everyone will rise to the challenge right away but if you gradually remove their objections, one by one they'll come on board and begin to make changes.
Appeal to vanity
Encourage everyone in the business to ask themselves, which of their wellbeing behaviours would they like their team or their colleagues to emulate? The opportunity to be seen as a positive role model often creates stronger motivation to do the right thing than the notion of change for the sake of change.