27 Ways to Improve role of Mid-level managers in employee wellness programs

Numerous studies have shown that employee health behavior is linked to their healthcare costs. Employee wellness can be a smart investment move by employers and managers, which consequently help the organization in increasing profits.

Senior Leadership plays the vital role in the success of wellness programs and they need to create supportive environment that promotes employee well- being.

Basically, it’s the middle managers who hold the key to success of these programs and provide necessary approvals to join wellness programs or yoga classes during work hours.In some cases, Managers can lead by example and participate in these activities.

What are the roles middle managers can play in implementing wellness programs?

  • Allocating resources – Time, Space, Money to facilitate the programs.
  •  Quality control – Initiating the change and cross-checking the defects
  • Taking ownership and being accountable for implementation of programs

How can managers influence employees in adopting a healthy lifestyle?

  • Managers should practice self-care. Instead of working 24*7 and overtime hours, they need to take care of personal life. When your leader is focusing on work-life balance and healthy lifestyle, it makes sense for the employees to follow the healthier way.
  • Assisting employees to stay active throughout a day is the simplest way of practicing healthy work lifestyle. Team leaders and Managers can create a walking club, encourage employees to use stairs instead of an elevator or conduct weekly one-on-one walking meetings.
  • Employees who are appreciated and encouraged are more productive and engaging at work.  Managers who show appreciation and gratitude to employees create a sense of positive vibe in the work culture and promotes a healthier workplace.
  • Sharing health tips with employees – Middle-level management can organize yoga classes, stress management classes, health-tip classes and share healthy lifestyle insights with employees.
  • Workplace wellness paid times- Offering paid time (30 minutes a day) for employees to attend yoga classes, Gym can help employees stay healthy at the workplace.
  • Creating a healthy community- I have observed many of the companies creating community fruit basket where employees can grab and share free fruits. Most of the corporate are replacing low nutrient snacks in vending machines, canteen with high-calorie healthy alternatives – almonds, yogurt, grains.
  • Making wellness programs a fun – Employees would hesitate to participate in wellness programs which are complex, regulatory and stressful. The best way to run a wellness program is to keep it simple and fun.
  • Self- participation – “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” If Managers are not participating in these wellness programs, why should employees participate? Get a health risk assessment, take a break from work, a vacation , participate in bio-metric screenings and group meditations. Lead by example.

Women leaders who work at the mid-level hierarchy have a strong responsibility since wellness is so often associated with strength, humility, influence, care, sympathy, and togetherness. They can be role models to introduce a life-altering change in the existing system and shape healthy work culture of the workplace.

I believe that mid-level managers play a vital role in the strategic development, sustainability, and growth of any organization. Basically, they act as a bridge between the top and bottom levels .They can change the strategic direction by valuable contributions, perspective, thought process, and leadership activities. As a mid-level manager, you can definitely shape well-being and work culture of your workplace by implementing wellness programs.

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