--Guest post from Raj Jana, CEO of JavaPresse--
Companies everywhere are recognizing the benefits of workplace wellness programs. Statistics show that 72% of organizations consider their wellness strategies to be effective at improving performance, productivity, and engagement.
However, implementing a wellness program can be much tougher when your employees are in different locations. The popularity of telecommuting has increased by more than 103% in the last decade alone.
Just because a growing number of your staff members might be out of sight, doesn't mean they need to be out of mind. Here’s how you can be sure to include them in your workplace wellness programs:1. Communicate
Clear and consistent communication is crucial to any business. One of the biggest issues that telecommuters face is the isolation that comes with working from home.
Since you won't have a chance to chat about healthy snacks around the water cooler, or discuss the latest fitness classes in your area with remote employees, it's important to make sure that you reach out to them in other ways. Fortunately, digital advancements mean that there are more than enough touchpoints.
Remind them to get plenty of rest by sending messages through collaboration apps or ask them to join you for a regular video conference where you discuss what they've been doing to look after themselves. You could even launch a social intranet for your business where telecommuting employees can ask questions and read useful articles.2. Encourage people to get involved
Adoption is a common problem facing workplace wellness programs. When your remote workers know you're not there to check in to make sure that they're looking after themselves, they're more likely to let things slip. Fortunately, employees are often more likely to respond positively to a wellness perk or initiative if they know they might get a reward.
Set your employees up with a free coffee subscription package every month if they get involved with your wellness programs, or allow them to take part in competitions where they can win awards.
An effective wellness program makes everyone feel like they're part of a family. It's much easier to make significant changes when you can feel that.3. Make the most of technology
A lot of companies assume that the only way to keep in touch with their remote employees is through emails and phone calls, but there are new communication methods emerging all the time, such as video conferencing, instant messaging, social media, collaboration tools, and teamwork applications.
The best way to decide which technology is right for your team is to speak to them. Ask each of the experts in your group how they prefer to stay in touch and launch a program that allows everyone to feel connected. You could even think about investing in wearable technology for your coworkers.
A wearable combined with an app could be a fantastic way to start adding gamification to your workplace wellness program.4. Publicize and reward achievements
We've already acknowledged how incentives can push more people to get involved. However, you also need to think about how you can recognize and reward the achievements of your employees.
You could give your staff specific gifts when they achieve their personal goals. For instance, if someone on your team loses weight, or goes six months without smoking a cigarette, then you could send them a voucher to one of their favorite stores to celebrate their accomplishments and let them know you’re rooting for them.
Publicizing the achievements of your team helps them to feel like your company really cares about the progress they're making. Of course, some people might prefer not to have their information made public, so it's worth double-checking if someone's happy for you to rave about their successes before you do so.5. Get to know your employees
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness. While you might know who works for you, and their location and job title, you may not know what motivates them. A wellness program works best if you know how to inspire people to make long-lasting changes. Offering a free gym membership to everyone in your group might seem great at first, but it won't do much good if your remote employees are in a place where there are no gyms.
Employee input and feedback are crucial to any workplace wellness program. A regular poll, questionnaire, or survey sent out to new hires whenever you bring them onto the team can help you gather the sort of information you need to design wellness programs that are tailor-made to the people you're trying to support.
If you can include your employees in the design process, then you should be able to keep your finger on the healthy pulse of your growing business.
About the Author: Raj Jana is the CEO behind JavaPresse, an eco-friendly and environmentally conscious coffee company devoted to helping people discover the true benefits of coffee. Raj believes in the delicious healing power of freshly-sourced beans, which is why his brand only delivers the very best in coffee experiences.