As the pandemic shifted our workplace paradigm to include working from home, many managers have been left asking how to engage remote workers.
Indeed, many employers are struggling with employee engagement in a remote world. Solutions to this issue require some creativity and commitment but it can be done. Incorporating an employee wellness program can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone: offer a new enticing benefit and use it as a way to engage remote workers.
Here are some ways you can use your employee wellness programs as a tool to engage or re-engage your remote team.
Engage remote workers by making your wellness programming a group activity.
For example, hold a virtual healthy cooking class where employees can prep the food along with the host and include time for socializing while folks enjoy their final products.
Theme your virtual fitness classes.
Encourage participants to turn on their cameras, dress to the theme, and have fun with it. Maybe the soundtrack could be all contributions from the team.
Involve your workforce in the planning process.
Engage remote workers by asking them what types of programs would meet their needs. Then use those suggestions in planning your programs. Alternatively, create an employee wellness committee that meets regularly to plan out programming.
Keep programs as interactive as possible.
No one wants to sit and listen to someone talk on Zoom for 50 minutes or even 30 minutes for that matter! Work with your wellness program provider to make sure that there are interactive components like break out rooms, polls, games, and group activities included in their sessions. The more opportunities to hear from and interact with their colleagues the better!
Add a special touch.
Provide yoga mats, wooden utensils with your company logo, or another small gift as a reminder of the community you and your employees belong to. Check out my friend Gail Zona for some great, handmade, personalized corporate gifts.
Solicit feedback from employees after each session.
This can reassure employees that you want to make sure the programs are supportive to them. It follows, then, that their feedback should then be taken into account in the future.
Make participation feasible and desirable.
Low turnout is a very common issue reported by employers regarding their wellness programs. And an empty wellness program doesn’t help engagement very much. It’s important that employees understand the value of the program and are actually able to participate in it. So clearly communicate how the wellness programs will support your remote workers’ specific needs and ensure they have the time and opportunity to join in.
Avoid activities that could be exclusionary.
For example, virtual wine pairings could leave some team members out but maybe a virtual mocktail/cocktail class could work. Exercise challenges also tend to be an exclusionary program. Aim for variety in your offerings so there is something for everyone.