How to manage physical wellbeing across a geographically diverse workforce
We all know that there is a link between wellbeing and happiness at work. Afterall, healthy staff are happier and happier staff are proven to be more productive, so it’s in an employer’s best interest to keep staff happy, healthy and around for longer.
As with managing any aspect of wellbeing, it can be hard to encourage usage of the benefits on offer – especially with today’s dispersed workforce. Geographically diverse workforces are now a fact of life, with remote working increasing in the modern world of work.
So, what can be done to improve physical wellbeing in geographically dispersed teams?
The first step when it comes to managing the physical wellbeing of your employees is the implementation of a strong wellbeing offering. However, driving usage of your benefits offering creates another issue; how do you communicate effectively with a geographically dispersed workforce?
Focusing too heavily on one method of communication can end up leaving large sections of the workforce out of the loop. To ensure that all staff members are being included in your physical wellbeing communications, you should consider the make-up of your workforce, and the way that they would like to be communicated with. It might not be possible for HR in geographically diverse companies to speak to each staff member individually, but reaching out to ask each staff member what they want from communications is the easiest way to make sure that you are reaching them. Don’t rely on a single method, combine staff surveys, newsletters, push notifications and ask line managers to reinforce any messaging you’re sending out via other channels.
It’s crucial that your benefits offering, and your communication methods are incorporated into your other wellbeing initiatives. Make sure everything can be found in the same place, and that your communication methods all have a consistent message and direct people back to their benefits platform. This adds another level of incentive for them to interact with their wellbeing offering and can even help to drive usage of your other benefits and wellbeing resources.
2. Peer to Peer
Team members who socialise with each other tend to communicate better, and communication is key when it comes to improving wellbeing. As socialisation in a physical sense is not possible for geographically diverse teams, more creative ways of establishing bonds will be needed. An online space to communicate informally will help them to establish a sense of community, foster good teamwork, and maybe even a little healthy competition. Peer to peer communication can also be utilised to create wellbeing advocates, who are able influence others faster and more effectively, communicating helpful resources and useful tips.
When it comes to managing physical wellbeing across a geographically diverse workforce, technology is key. Recent technological advances, such as wearable tech, really allow employers to help employees to take their health and wellbeing into their own hands.
Some brands of wearable tech have the capacity to highlight areas for improvement and can even be used to set manageable movement goals, so can truly help employees to become healthier and happier in a manageable, affordable way.
The rise of gamification is also being used by HR teams to incentivise staff to get moving, creating a sense of competition and friendly rivalry between teams, sites or regions. Employees can create teams among themselves and compete with each other to achieve fitness goals. This encourages friendly competition among staff members, which ultimately drives their fitness journey and usage of the benefits platform, when they check in regularly to see who is top of the leader board.
Geographically diverse teams can be hard to initially engage, but with the right communications, the help of peer to peer communications, and the technology to support your programme, once your strategy is live it will effectively run itself.
Technological advances are changing how we view exercise and if you can use this to better communicate and engage with staff, harnessing its power for the good of their physical wellbeing seems like a no brainer.
This article was provided by Personal Group.
Personal Group is sponsoring REBA’s Innovation Day, taking place on 22 November at County Hall, London.
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