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If you already have a wellness effort in place, you will need to work with those involved in your wellness team to transition to the Healthier U model. Communicate to those involved in current wellness activities that the department will be adopting the Healthier U model and solicit their support for and involvement in the transition process. It is important that you recognize and celebrate the work that has already been done.
Adopt Healthier U mission
Review and adopt the Healthier U mission, vision, and goals. Review your department's mission, vision and strategic plan and identify how Healthier U is in alignment.
Adopt general Healthier U outcomes
Articulating outcomes provides the basis to check on progress. Choose 2-3 manageable outcomes and measures. For example, you might choose high level of employee engagement (measured by participation numbers) and improved workplace wellness culture (measured through an employee survey).
The Healthier U logo is the property of the Healthier U Steering Committee. If using the Healthier U logo, the department must comply with certain goals, including that it be a labor-management partnership. (branding policy and approval form)
Determine Department's Annual Healthier U goals
In collaboration with the AC, establish a process to develop an annual plan for Healthier U at your department, including goals for the year and accompanying campaigns and activities. All activities should align with the goals adopted by the AC.
Determine methods for achieving broad employee participation
Employee engagement in Healthier U is one of the key elements of the model. Engagement means promoting participation among all levels of employees, including represented employees and managers, and across a diverse range of classifications. It also means identifying potential leaders and training them to develop and promote wellness activities at the workplace. The involvement of Labor is crucial in this area because of their expertise in employee engagement, particularly the ability to reach a broad range of employees, identify and train potential leaders, and provide support to keep them involved.
Determine how to most effectively reach employees and promote their participation in wellness. Traditional communications (email blasts, wellness intranet page, fliers, etc.) should be combined with personal conversations with represented employees and mid-level managers. This combined approach is much more effective in achieving employee engagement than general communication methods alone.
Confirm motivation methods for engaging employees
Healthier U found offering wellness activities that encourage employees to work in teams, promote friendly competition toward a collective goal, show visible leadership support, and provide recognition are effective motivation methods. The motivation guidelines will provide a framework, but tailor the guidelines to meet the needs of your department. Review workplace wellness literature on intrinsic motivation as part of your process. Make sure that your employee engagement and communication strategies align with the motivation guidelines.
Through methods such as:
There are many ways to involve employees in developing the annual calendar. Whatever format you use (e.g., half-day retreat, during AC meetings, etc.), make sure to:
Decide what campaigns and activities to implement
Campaigns and activities should be fun, easy to do, and involve teamwork as much as possible. They should also support your goals and align with the Healthier U framework. Campaigns require more planning to implement, so consider balancing the state online challenge—Healthier U Connections— (www.calhrwellness.com) with smaller activities throughout the year.
Factors to consider when choosing activities:
Set up a meeting with your department's communication office. Determine process for implementing your marketing and communication strategy (i.e., frequency of meetings with communication team, approval process for emails, posting fliers, and writing newsletters).
Once the annual wellness calendar is decided, the communications strategy should be expanded to incorporate promotion of all calendared activities.
Partner roles and resources
Department wellness coordinators seek guidance in implementing wellness programs. Healthier U has found that it is the absence of policies that sometimes create confusion. Can a vendor sell on state property? Can state funding be used to support wellness activities? Is there authority to implement a wellness program? The toolkit contains the statutory authorizations and existing regulations that affect wellness. Templates and guidelines on various topics (implementing wellness fairs, template event fliers, etc.) are available to assist in developing and implementing the marketing and communication strategy to promote employee engagement.