Employee involvement. Seems like a nice idea, doesn’t it? But employers often find that they have a hard time actively engaging their employees in the organization. Many say that this is one of the problems that they have in trying to implement health and wellness programs.
In the previous blog, I discussed the Psychologically Healthy Workplace awards program sponsored by the American Psychological Association and state and provincial psychological associations across the U.S. and Canada. Employee involvement is one of the five areas that are evaluated by APA or the state or provincial associations when an organization has applied for the award. The evaluation process has three parts. The application in which an organization is asked to describe one of the practices it makes use of in creating a psychological healthy workplace, environment that it feels is very effective, a survey of employees at all levels within the organization, and a site visit. The evaluation process, although extensive, does not cost the organization anything but some time and effort. The first two steps are completed online. After the site visit, the organization is given feedback regarding the five areas that are being evaluated. How to get employees engaged in the mission of the organization is often one of the areas that employers want to talk about.
Imagine the following scenario: Use the skills and attitudes of resilience to address this challenge. You are the HR person for your organization, a medium-size manufacturing company. You offer a number of health and wellness programs for your employees, but less than 20% participate. You are frustrated and don’t understand why more employees don’t take advantage of this generous benefit that your organization offers.
Now, give some thought to how the skills and the attitudes of resilience might be helpful in dealing with this situation. Here are some suggestions that we have that you might think about applying to the situation.
First, you need to consider how you communicate with your employees and how connected they are to you and the company. Do they feel valued by the organization or do they think this is being done just to reduce the cost to the company in health benefit claims? You also may need to deal with some of the strong feelings you have about this issue so you can think more clearly about how to deal with this challenge.
Talk with others about what they would do or have done in a similar situation.You may come up with others skills and attitudes you could apply.
In the next blog, we’re going to talk about work/life balance. Unfortunately, many organizations spend a good deal of time talking about this, but don’t really walk the walk.