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Workplace Well-Being Programs Are Key to Keeping People Connected Right Now

Actively looking after our health and well-being will play a big role in how we adjust to new ways of working and living brought on by the pandemic. Workplace and health plan well-being programs have an essential role to play right now. Although most everyone is working remotely, it’s important to let people know that the culture of health you’ve built continues. In this blog, we share a few suggestions for keeping people connected and engaged with their well-being program.

Forge ahead with wellness challenges. 

Even though people are physically apart, we encourage organizations to continue with any wellness challenges they might have planned for spring.

With a little tweaking you can still hold a walking challenge, like our popular Invitational Team Steps Challenge. Have people form teams with co-workers and get family members involved, too. A little virtual “cheering” on the wellness portal is also strongly encouraged! Team-based challenges might be just what we need right now to help people feel like they are still a part of something with co-workers.

Well-being challenges are still popular.

In our recent white paper “How Well-being Programs are Failing Women and Millennials.” 87% of those surveyed were interested in participating in wellness challenges, especially women and millennials.

Here are a few other ideas to keep folks active and engaged in their well-being:

  • Individual steps challenge: ask people to calculate how many steps it takes to walk completely around their homes or apartments and come up with a plan for getting to 5,000 steps. Share the plan and some photos on workplace social media.
  • Water challenge: urge everyone to drink more water throughout the day. May 3-9 is Drinking Water Week, so that could be a great tie-in.
  • Meditation challenge: people who may have been reluctant to practice in meditation may be more receptive to it now. May is Mental Health Awareness month, so get a challenge going to kick start a meditation habit.
  • Virtual workout streak: there are so many great streaming and recorded fitness classes out there right now – many for free! – so challenge folks to record how many days in a row they’ve taken a virtual fitness class.
  • Push-up or plank challenge: see who can hold a plank the longest or who can do the most push-ups.

As with any challenge, getting leadership involved and leading by example is key. Can your CEO share her tips for working out at home? Or, perhaps managers can start meetings by sharing a well-being tip of the day.

Don’t forget the rewards.

If you do hold a challenge, don’t forget to reward employees’ healthy behavior. Consider purchasing gift cards to local healthy eating establishments and fitness stores – it’s a great way to support businesses who were hit hard by mandatory closures.

Leverage telephonic or text-based coaching.

  • WebMD Health Coaches are available via phone or Coach Connect and are regularly checking in with participants to help them adapt their health and well-being routines to a new home-based reality. Just a quick touch-base might be all people need to stay accountable and motivated.
  • Text-based coaching programs, like our partnership with Agile Health, allows individuals with specific health goals (e.g.. losing weight, quitting tobacco) and those who are managing chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes or heart disease) to get the personalized support they need via text. Now, participants can also sign up to receive COVID-19 updates, including CDC recommendations, tips for staying healthy, and referrals to other trusted resources.

Tap into resilience.

Our collective resilience is surely being tested in the face of this pandemic. Fortunately, many organizations have resilience programs – like the meQuilibrium program through WebMD ONE – that give people the skills and tools needed to manage stress, deal with challenging situations, and recover when the going gets tough. Make sure the individuals in your organization know how to access resilience programs that could be a huge help during this stressful time.

Keep the lines of communication open.

Communication is always essential to well-being program success and this is even more true now. We are all being bombarded with information, so make it easy for people by providing a quick list of well-being resources and how to access them. If your organization has created a dedicated COVID-19 section on their intranet, be sure to list well-being resources there as well.

We’ve created our own COVID-19 resource page with guides you can share with the individuals of your organization, helpful blog posts, and relevant webinars from our Health Coaches.

Though we may be physically separated, you can still keep people connected to the culture of well-being you’ve built by promoting available programs and engaging the organization in some fun well-being challenges. Need more ideas? Contact us at connect@webmd.com.

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