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6 powerful ways worksite wellness helps employees cope with change

By Tanja Madsen, Senior Director, Product Management

Restructuring, merging, downsizing: No matter what you call it, these are just a few of the ways companies can change over several months, weeks—or even overnight.

As an employer, you know that change is inevitable and helping employees to stay focused, engaged and manage stress is a real challenge.

And while you may not have control over all the elements that lead to change within your organization, you can control what type of support your employees have available to help them cope with these changes.

Here are six approaches we use at client sites to help employees stress less and make healthy choices in the midst of company changes.

Meet employees where they are
At HealthFitness, we meet people where they are and make it easy for them to take advantage of services and programs. For example, at a leading insurance company going through restructuring, our on-site fitness staff provides programs on requested topics such as weight lifting, eating healthier, stress management and training sessions for mud runs so employees get value today rather than committing to traditional, more longer-term programs.

For example, our on-site team at a large manufacturing company found a way to support hard-to-reach employees after the company announced it was closing the facility. Our team remained sensitive to the people and what they were feeling by simply leading walks around the manufacturing plant. This helped employees handle their stress as well as support them in their transition.

Understand the workforce and physical environment
When it comes to wellness programming, what may work in a corporate office may not work at a factory or plant environment. To meet the needs of shift workers at a leading manufacturing client site, our on-site staff accommodates their schedules with brief, informational sessions at different times throughout the day (and night)!

Our on-site team at a global manufacturing company uses web-based Skype sessions to reach employees in their living rooms, loading docks, cubicles and conference rooms. Employees—and their family members--can view health education sessions, take a yoga break, or do stretch band strength training at any time, thanks to the on-demand sessions.

Smile more, stress less
When employees experience a changing work environment, the last thing they want to see at their on-site fitness center is an anxious or gloomy staff. Our on-site team provides consistent, friendly faces plus a welcoming environment to encourage employees to focus on their health as a powerful and positive break.

Counteract stress
We know when change ratchets up, regular routines can suffer. Our staff are tuned into the workplace climate and remind employees that exercise is one of the best ways to relieve and “burn off” the negative impacts of stress.  

Take advantage of free resources
Our dedicated on-site staff use the educational tools and resources from HealthFitness to conduct Mind Your Health seminars and/or 10 to 15 minute What’s What meet-ups about health topics that go beyond healthy eating and exercise—we help employees learn skills to offset stress, such as mindfulness, yoga and meditation, financial wellbeing and more.
Provide inspiration
Employees at a global shipping company get a boost of inspiration when they work out at the on-site fitness center. Members find inspirational quotes and sayings written on small notes and placed throughout the center.

Lessons learned
In today’s hectic environment, there are so many things employees can’t control. All the more reason to remind your employees they can still control what impacts their health, such as habits and lifestyles.
While it’s important to focus on the physical aspects of health during times of change and stress, addressing the other dimensions of wellbeing are especially important. For example, social wellbeing taps into our connections and social support to offset stress.

Helping employees find their purpose, build resiliency, and make it a priority to recharge and rejuvenate supports emotional wellbeing. Creating a healthy environment and culture makes it easier to eat well, move more, connect with others, and not only survive inevitable change, use it as an opportunity to thrive!

Learn more
Please contact us to learn more about how to partner with HealthFitness to inspire and engage employees in their health and wellbeing.

About the author: 

A veteran of health education and health management product development, Tanja is senior director of product management for HealthFitness. A certified health educator, Tanja works with a team that includes registered dietitians, health educators, exercise physiologists, and behavior change experts who are responsible for the development and management of national programs to improve population health.


Posted on July 06, 2017 in Wellness Challenges

Tagged as mindfulness stress