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Nudging Others Towards a Culture of Wellness

Wouldn’t it be great to walk up to any person in your company, tell them about the wellness program, and then watch them participate in every activity over the next few months? Unfortunately,  influencing others is not quite that easy, however there are a few best practices that you can do to grow support for the company wellness program.

When attempting to promote a culture of wellness, one is likely to encounter resistance. In fact, resistance is a natural part of the process; we humans generally have a tendency to resist changes to the status quo. This doesn’t mean that people and organizations can’t change, however it does mean that it is important to understand the answer to the “why” question. Why does this employee feel this way about the program, what do they dislike? What is this person’s underlying values that influences these feelings? It may take some probing to get these answers, but really understanding their concerns helps you gain insight into roadblocks that keep them, and possibly others from participating.

After gaining this understanding, be authentic about what can be done to address these concerns. Often times, the solution may be out of your control… and that’s okay. If this is something that you do not have the power to change, acknowledge the person’s concerns and make a note of their feelings. Do not be afraid to be honest with this person about your lack of immediate control over the situation, but let them know that if several others share the same concern, then you will bring it to the attention of decision makers. Then, it may help to find a way to bring your concerns to senior management, but it requires some planning and forethought.

Decision makers want to know “what’s in it for me?”. Do some research to know what types of resources a decision maker would have to expend to further your proposal. Be sure to illustrate the return on investment for this person, and for all other parties who may invest time, energy, and money.  Illustrate how your proposed change is aligned with their personal values and the company values. Not sure what these values are? Spend some time observing this person and notice where this individual spends most of his or her time. Are they spending a good portion of their time meeting with and training employees, or are they more client-focused? How does your goal further the development of people within the firm or the development of client relationships? How does your proposal further the goals of the decision makers?

By approaching employees and managers in a collaborative problem-solving manner, it is much easier to find allies to support your case. Building the business case for wellness takes time to dig for facts that may support your specific proposal, but given time and perseverance, you may find yourself slowly but surely moving others towards a culture of wellness. True culture change is often a gradual, nudging, process.

See the links below for resources that support the business case for wellness.

Study: Wellness Programs Saved $1 to $3 per Dollar Spent

Study: Preventing Health Risks Has Rapid Payoff

What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?

Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs Webinar

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