Winner: Daman Award for Corporate Health and Wellness Initiative Award

Do's:

1. Form a core committee to take the lead on initiatives, include other key people who can influence and drive employee participation

2. Involvement and participation by the top management can greatly influence and motivate the rest of the employees to participate

3. As first steps, find out about your employees, what interests and motivates them from the health and engagement perspective. Keep in mind cultural preferences to ensure you able to offer something for everyone

4. Be inclusive – consider engaging those shift workers in the organization who may miss out on events. Also consider staff who commute long hours for work or those who cannot attend after work due to personal commitments

5. Involving your external customers and even family members of staff, can make the programme more beneficial and add better value

6. Offer incentives to employees who enthusiastically participate in the program or achieve set goals with gift vouchers, team recognition, etc. Humor and small friendly competitions (not involving bodyweights) can contribute to adding fun elements to the overall event

7. Use color and creativity in designing the events, and in branding and marketing it to your employees

8. Inculcate a habit of regular stretching and walking, during short work breaks. For example, a little stretch taken when you break-away from your desk to refilling your drinking water bottle, can help to refresh from the sedentary posture

9. If you will implement group workout sessions, consider employee’s medical conditions and disabilities and steer away from too strenuous activities. If you will be providing healthier food choices, then keep in mind any likely food allergies and dietary restrictions

10. Maintaining hypo-allergenic plants as office décor can naturally infuse fresh oxygen into the environment and also add some living greenery to brighten moods and encourage relaxation

Don'ts:

1. Don’t force employees to participate – realize that about 30-40% of the target population will immediately sign up. The rest may need some coaxing; however, participation becomes more proactive if staff are encouraged by their colleagues or first-hand see the benefits of the programme and themselves choose to participate

2. Avoid circulating handouts or documents to teach wellbeing practices – offer the learning via an activity or workshop, so that staff get engaged in learning and sharing best practices

3. Don’t restrict the elements involved in health and wellbeing – today, emotional, financial, intellectual and even spiritual health is gaining prominence in the corporate wellbeing context

4. Do not imply that your employees have no understanding of the negative effects of not taking good care of themselves, the side effects of smoking, lack exercise or unhealthy eating. Often times employees are well aware, but they just need a gentle push to motivate themselves towards a healthier lifestyle

5. Do not expect that all employees will make necessary changes and take initiative on their own. Most will need a little nudging or reminding to take the first steps of change; a good handful may even go back to their previous habits

6. Do not ignore people who are quiet/shy and participate less, or those who participate and lose competitions

7. Avoid having competitions relating to body weight – as physical appearance and body image are very sensitive topics for some people, and not everyone has the same degree of control over their body weight; metabolism levels also vary from person to person

8. Do not partner up with too many health ‘promoters’ who are mostly about their products and services. Registered and qualified health practitioners usually offer genuine advice which is more valued by employees, as there is no sales element to it

9. Don’t include too many events that are out of office hours, as employees have a personal life and need to spend time with family

10. Avoid judging employees on the choices that they make after the health campaigns – after all, we all have a right to choose what we determine is ‘right for us’