Some say that long-distance relationships are doomed to fail. But HR and benefits professionals who work with remote employees know better. If you play your cards right, there’s no reason why even those who work over the hills and far away can’t become among your most engaged wellness program participants.
The trick is to always keep remote employees in mind as you design and execute your program, and to immerse them in your company’s culture of health whenever you can. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.
Utilize Wellness Champions: Here at Viverae®, we have an off-site Wellness Champion who does an amazing job at keeping our remote employees engaged in the program. Because she works off-site herself, she understands the unique challenges that remote employees face as they work to achieve better health. If you’re currently using Wellness Champions to promote your program, perhaps it’s a good idea to consider a dedicated champion for your remote employees.
Initiate Some Challenges: Employer and Peer Challenges are a great way to engage your employees in the wellness program. And the best part for remote employees is that they don’t have to be at the office to participate. Just be sure to provide remote employees with plenty of details about the challenge and information about upcoming deadlines. For the best results, use multiple communication methods such as email, direct mail, instant messages, and so on.
Provide Options: You may have an awesome, healthy work environment around the office, but your remote employees aren’t around to take advantage of the healthy snacks, workout facilities, or fitness classes. Perhaps it’s worth considering offering discounted gym memberships, or filming and streaming your fitness classes. Also, if your program requires a Biometric Screening, be sure to provide off-site options like allowing remote employees to visit a physician or complete a home kit.
Stay Connected: Technology is a game-changer when it comes to engaging remote employees. Telephonic coaching support and online resources like videos and articles can go a long way toward keeping them on the healthy path. Mobile technology in particular can be instrumental for your road warriors who spend time traveling. If your program provider offers a mobile app, you should definitely encourage your employees to download and utilize it.
Get Creative: A little creativity goes a long way, especially when it comes to keeping your remote employees engaged. Our off-site Wellness Champion sends out a monthly calendar that lists 2-minute drills for the remote team to perform. She then encourages members to post selfies as they perform the drills. Likewise, Viverae plans to implement a selfie contest for our remote employees so they can compete in the upcoming Viverae Olympics.
As more and more companies adopt flexible schedules and telecommuting to create a positive work environment, it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure that remote employees are given the opportunity to succeed in your wellness program. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. All it takes is a commitment to include your entire team in your communications and program activities.