Chronic conditions are on the rise in the United States, affecting more than 133 million Americans – and they can have a profound impact on employees’ quality of life as well as costs for employers. Yet it’s possible to reverse many chronic conditions through daily behaviors such as increasing the amount of physical activity, improving sleep habits, proactively managing stress, or making wiser nutrition choices. And while changing habits is hard, it is possible.
Fitbit Health Solutions shared five best practices to help your employees take control of their health and change behaviors. Using these insights, HR professionals can design their wellness programs to inspire healthy behavior change right from the start.
- Leverage personal context. A templated health plan doesn’t account for employees’ unique interests, limiting their effectiveness. Instead, aim to create personalized programs that reflect each employee’s unique starting point and can adapt to their changing needs throughout their journey.
- Simplify the options. When people have too many choices to achieve a health goal, they can get overwhelmed and decide to do nothing at all. Get around this by carefully curating employees’ options. This will help them choose from a short list of acceptable choices, increasing their motivation to get started.
- Embrace new habits. Established bad habits require less cognitive energy, making them the default over unestablished, healthier habits. Help your employees build new habits quickly by celebrating and rewarding their consistent effort.
- Consider social factors. An employee’s friends and community impact their ability to make positive change. Seek ways to encourage employees’ friends, family members, and co-workers to reinforce healthy behavior change. Try to understand how achievable your wellness programs are based on where your employees live and what they can afford to spend to enable new healthy behavior.
- Set reasonable expectations. People who relapse may lose confidence and find it difficult to get back on track. Overcome this by making your employees’ health metrics easy to track. This will allow them to track their results and stay motivated.
Changing your employees daily behaviors is not an easy feat but with good planning and communication you can empower them to make better choices that will have positive outcomes.