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Apply a Growth Mindset to Employee Wellbeing This Fall

You’ve probably heard the term “Growth Mindset” regarding business initiatives, but how often have you applied it to health and wellbeing?

A growth mindset is considered key to adaptability and quick pivots in the business world, but it can also make a difference in your health. Too often, employee wellbeing programs are business as usual, with little spontaneity or change to wellness initiatives. Autumn is an ideal time to embrace change and you can capitalize on this approach to change regarding your employee health and wellbeing.

Encourage Health as a Family Affair

Help employees move from solo exercise sessions by including several initiatives per week that encourage time with employee’s partners and kids.

Most likely, the primary focus of a workforce initiative is your employees’ health, but it’s wise to include a greater scope by promoting family fitness. Family activity sessions can have a significant impact on promoting emotional stability, strengthening relationships and success in adopting life-long exercise habits. These factors can impact the overall mental wellbeing of your employees in addition to improving communication, sleep and giving employees healthy stress management tools that can boost mood and reduce anxiety. Time and time again, the research shows that healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity impacts health status across all ages and can reduce chronic disease.

What kinds of activities can families do together this Fall?

  • Encourage adults to skip the treadmill and the stationary bike, try a family geocache – kind of like a treasure hunt, hike through the woods, play Pokemon Go or take a family fun run/walk. Scheduling an event on the calendar helps to promote the pre-event training sessions needed to get ready.
  • Try an App or Fitness tracker, not because you should track the kid’s progress, but this can help bridge the “technology divide” between parents and kids. Kids love to try new things and games, and technology helps to make fitness fun and exciting. Remember to keep it fun and enjoyable. High-intensity trackers can even be used to help with chores like raking leaves or Fall yard cleanup! The goal is to engage in physical activity, not to accomplish any specific exercise.
  • Yoga, dance, mindfulness and meditation videos can be found online. These outlets can help with stress management and resiliency for both adults and kids who can feel overscheduled during the school year.

Change is Good

Use your employee wellbeing program as a platform to highlight change and demonstrate the positive aspects that come with trying a new way of thinking.

Many of your employees have “baggage” that can interfere with a behavior or lifestyle change. Personal history, prior successes and failures, as well as confidence in the ability to change, will impact the success of new initiatives by either motivating or discouraging the employee from taking part.

However, the return is worth the time and energy spent creating a thoughtful approach. One study showed how wellness program participants had $176 lower per person total costs and hospital inpatient expenses were lower by $182 per person. The four-year return on the program was $1.65 for every dollar spent.

What can employers do to “shake up” employee wellness initiatives?

  • Introduce Something New

    Encourage employees to step out of their comfort zone and try a new fitness pursuit, purchase a new healthy appliance (instant pot or air fryer, anyone?) or bring in a nutritionist or dietician for a Lunch and Learn to highlight seasonal produce and how to cook healthy meals at home.

  • Think Outside the Box to Utilize Leftover Funds

    Have wellness funds from your insurance carrier that need to be utilized by the end of the year? Get out of the “t-shirt and water bottle” rut! Think purposefully about using your funds. Provide short-term or trial membership of health-conscious apps for your employees or host a stress management seminar or a session on financial wellbeing (great idea before the holidays). Create fun competition that promotes healthcare literacy (word find, scavenger hunt, etc.) and purchase a valuable prize for a random drawing to encourage participation.

  • Create Friendly Competition

    Encourage remote worksites to challenge each other. Create a “traveling trophy” to boost the opportunity for bragging rights and to build a supportive community across your locations. Seeking a simple fall challenge? Have employees set a personal health goal that encourages resiliency, stress management, financial wellbeing and mindfulness in addition to the traditional physical, weight or nutrition goals. Bring in a health coach to assist with the challenge and promote educational webinars (many insurance carriers have these on their website) that educate and motivate on a wide variety of total wellbeing objectives. Looking for ideas? Check out Health Finder for free content, videos and tools.

Initiatives, policies and attitudes that support total wellbeing will benefit the wellbeing of both the individual and organization.

For forward-thinking employers, changing seasons offers the opportunity to alleviate the “fear of change,” by creating and supporting a culture of health and trust. Adopting a growth mindset related to wellbeing initiatives will align well with other corporate policies and optimize your employee potential.

Are you curious to learn more about improving engagement, culture and your company’s bottom line? Read this recent post: Why Your Company Needs a Corporate Giving Strategy.