How to engage your people in wellbeing activities

Gartner’s 2021 EVP Benchmarking Survey revealed that although 87% of employees have access to wellbeing offerings, only 23% of employees use them. 

With this in mind and with a wide range of corporate organisations, home to thousands of employees, we wanted to make sure we support them to drive maximum engagement to help their people be well to do well, by taking part in CALMfest 2024.

Raising funds for Mind, sponsored by Nuclear AMRC and Nuclear Industry Association, CALMfest is a week long festival of events, activities and challenges running online during Mental Health Awareness Week in May.

We know from our regular CALM hub community events some of the things that can get in the way for people when it comes to showing up for yourself and slowing down to go faster. So we recently set up a knowledge sharing session for participating organisations to share ideas to get maximum benefit for people and business from this year’s CALMfest.

Time is probably the biggest obstacle. Among all employees who indicated that they could have participated in a wellbeing program but didn’t, 38% said it was because they were too busy (Gartner). This is particularly concerning, as those most in need of wellbeing support often have the least time and energy.

Feeling guilty about taking time out is another factor. Often people feel like they don’t really have permission to prioritise themselves during working time, missing the link between breaks and higher levels of performance.

You see it’s not really all about wellbeing: it’s actually about workplace culture, leadership and engagement. And focusing here is good for business: 48% of employees who utilise wellbeing programs report being highly engaged, compared to 30% of employees who do not. Further, organisations who provide programs like CALMfest, see the physical, financial and mental wellness of their people improve by 7 percentage points (Gallup). This, in turn, will impact the bottom line.

Here are some top tips from our CALMfest knowledge sharing session on engaging more people to take part in wellbeing activities:

Focus on your early adopters

CALMfest offers something for everyone but not everyone is ready to slow down to go faster. With the innovation curve in mind, put your energy around communication and engagement into those segments of people who you know are already open and interested in what’s on offer. Use these people to engage others who sit in the middle ground. And don’t worry about the laggards – there will always be some people for whom it’s not for them.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

When it comes to communication, especially across large organisations and when it comes down to mindset and behavioural disruption, you need to maximise all channels and repeat regularly. It’s why we start communicating a good 6 weeks before CALMfest takes place. When you start to feel bored of your own messaging, you’re probably getting close to effective comms!

Follow the leader

This is key to helping people to feel as if they have permission to slow down, take some time out and take part. Finding a senior sponsor who can demonstrate advocacy will have a huge impact on everyone else across the organisation. Get them to talk about taking part and share their story, particularly around what they are doing and why and shout it loud via all your communication channels.

Build a tapestry of interventions – co-create your red thread

There is no silver bullet when it comes to this stuff. The more you can create a range of activities and initiatives underpinned by a strategy, roadmap AND a connected storyboard of messages and entry points for engagement, the more likely you are to win your people and get the results, qualitatively and quantitatively, that you and the business are looking for.

    CALMfest 2024 is open to CALM hub members and participating organisations.

    If you don’t work for any of the organisations who have signed up (see graphic), as a CALM hub member, you can sign up for an individual ticket and we’ll send you more details on what’s happening and how to book!

    Click here for more info