The 5 Pillars of Employee Behavior Change: Pillar #5

By Melissa Suzuno Nov 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

You have high hopes for your employee wellbeing program—you’re going to motivate and inspire your employees to eat healthier, exercise more, quit smoking… well, the list goes on and on. And while you may have good intentions, if you’re like the majority of HR and benefits leaders, you’ve probably seen a bit of a gap between your hopes and reality. It can be hard to get the numbers you’d like to see for enrollment and participation—not to mention lasting engagement and long-term behavior change.

Part of the problem is that many programs neglect the science of behavior change, which minimizes their chances of long-term success.

In this series, we’ll explore the five pillars of behavior change that will help you design an effective employee wellbeing program. You can find the posts on Pillar #1 here, Pillar #2 here, Pillar #3 here, and Pillar #4 here.

The fifth pillar focuses on environment. How can you create an environment that makes it easier for employees to stick to healthy habits? Read on to find out!

The 5 Pillars of Employee Behavior Change: Pillar #3

By Melissa Suzuno Oct 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM

You have high hopes for your employee wellbeing program—you’re going to motivate and inspire your employees to eat healthier, exercise more, quit smoking… well, the list goes on and on. And while you may have good intentions, if you’re like the majority of HR and benefits leaders, you’ve probably seen a bit of a gap between your hopes and reality. It can be hard to get the numbers you’d like to see for enrollment and participation—not to mention lasting engagement and long-term behavior change.

Part of the problem is that many programs neglect the science of behavior change, which minimizes their chances of long-term success.

In this series, we’ll explore the five pillars of behavior change that will help you design an effective employee wellbeing program. You can find the posts on Pillar #1 here and Pillar #2 here.

The third pillar focuses on the topic of, well, focus! Let’s investigate why it’s important to narrow in on one habit rather than trying to make multiple changes at the same time.

The Grassroots Approach to Employee Wellbeing—And Why it Works

By Chris Cutter Oct 11, 2017 8:00:00 AM

The ideal version of employee wellbeing looks something like this: You have an engaged, enthusiastic workforce where employees are excited to come to work and have plenty of strategies to maintain their physical and mental health. And most of us have launched employee wellbeing programs with that very expectation.

Unfortunately, we often find that reality is a stark contrast to our idealized vision. We don’t get the enrollment or engagement we’d hoped for, and we see our employees revert back to their old behaviors after trying but failing to make lasting changes.

In a recent webinar, I spoke about how to build a culture of wellbeing at your company. In this post, I’ll focus on one aspect of this discussion: the grassroots approach to employee wellbeing. Read on to learn why the grassroots approach is so effective and what this could mean for your own employee wellbeing program.

Person-Centered Therapy vs. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: What’s the Difference?

By Julia Miller Sep 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM

 

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably struggled with some sort of behavior change, like exercising more regularly, better managing stress, or eating more healthfully. There are many benefits to working with someone else, whether it’s a therapist, counselor, or coach. While there is a relational quality to all types of counseling (a client/patient must want to talk and share with their therapist, after all!), approaches come in all shapes and sizes.

Person-centered therapy (PCT) is based on a foundation of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and authenticity. It assumes that people are naturally inclined toward positive growth and that they have a great capacity for self understanding and modifying their behavior and attitudes, given the right environment/climate/support.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), on the other hand, is based on the assumption that most problems are a result of negative thoughts, which means that existing cognitive patterns must be altered in order to move past emotional or behavioral issues.

To help bring these definitions to life, below are two similar conversations, one that uses the PCT approach we favor here at LifeDojo, and one that uses a CBT approach.

Dispelling the Myths of Workplace Wellness Programs

By Chris Cutter Sep 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

You’ve probably observed a disconnect between the ideal version of workplace “wellness” and the all-too-common reality. In the ideal version, you have an office full of motivated, healthy employees who participate in your programs and achieve lasting results. But if you’re like a lot of other benefits and HR leaders, your reality looks a little more like this: minimal enrollment, low participation, and few lasting results.

Why is there such a big discrepancy here? There are a number of myths circulating around workplace wellness programs, and the perpetuation of these myths is preventing employers from helping employees make lasting health improvements in their lives.

We discussed these myths, and explored the science-backed solutions to those myths in more detail in a recent webinar, but you can keep reading here for the quick overview.

In this post, we’ll uncover and dispel the four prevailing myths in the wellbeing and health industry that hold back the true potential of behavior change in your employee population. Some of the insights include: the role of information and knowledge in habit change, the time it takes to change a habit, the downside to social challenges, and whether distinct programs are necessary for specific types of habits.


We’ve Got the Cure for These 4 Common Wellbeing Program Ailments

By Hollis Kool Sep 13, 2017 8:00:00 AM

With most ailments like the common cold, you usually know exactly what to do. When you have a sore throat, you gargle with salt water. If you have a cold, nothing works better than Mom’s chicken soup. But what if you’re struggling with something that’s a little more complex?

How to Personalize Your Employee Wellbeing Program

By Hollis Kool Aug 30, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Here’s a common scenario: Your company decides to offer a wellness challenge, and you get a big group committed to running a 5k or walking 10,000 steps a day for a month. People seem excited and motivated at the beginning of the program. But by the end, or a few weeks after? That excitement has vanished.

Why does this approach to employee wellbeing tend to fade out? First off, once the ideal conditions and group encouragement are gone, most people revert back to their usual habits (you can learn more about how tricky it is to really create new habits here). But perhaps more importantly, it’s because the goal was set externally and isn’t necessarily relevant to each individual participant.

Want to know how you can start making personalized wellbeing programming that recognizes your employees as individuals? Read on to learn more about the benefits to personalizing your wellbeing program, and how to actually accomplish this. Let’s get personal.

Habit Change & Workplace Wellbeing: Part 2

By Hollis Kool Aug 24, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In Part 1 of this series, we explored some of the factors that go into the mechanics of habit change and why it’s so hard to adjust our behavior, even if we have a strong desire to make a change. If you missed it or want a quick refresher, you can see that post here.

In this post, we’re going to look at how the science of behavior change can impact your employee wellbeing programs, and what that means for you as you design them.

Habit Change & Workplace Wellbeing: Part 1

By Hollis Kool Aug 23, 2017 8:00:00 AM

"We are what we repeatedly doExcellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

- Aristotle

Your alarm rings at 6am, you hit the snooze button—five more minutes of sleep. The second alarm goes off, and, grunting, you sit up. You reach over to shut off the alarm on your phone, and open up Facebook and start scrolling. If you’re feeling extra groggy this morning you might venture over to Instagram and Snapchat, too. Thirty minutes later, you’ve somehow managed to get yourself showered, dressed, fed, and out the door for work.

This morning routine—which may be a little hectic, but relatively low effort—is fairly unremarkable. Maybe your Special K ran out and you switched over to Honey Nut Cheerios, but for the most part, you can’t remember the specificities of one morning from the next.

The quote above from Aristotle makes the ordinary feel more remarkable than it seems. But, he has a point: Habits are the building blocks of our minute-by-minute behaviors, which make up our day-by-day routines. These automatic, unconscious routines make up our semblance of a person—40% of our behavior, in fact, is habitual rather than decided.

But what if we want to augment these routines? What if we are unhappy with the type of lifestyle they create in aggregate?

As an HR person or employer, you may wonder how you can encourage positive routines for your employees or help them disrupt their unhealthy habits. And wellbeing programs are one effective approach to accomplish this.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how habit formation actually works, how long it takes, and what makes it more likely to stick. In Part 2, we’ll consider what this means for your workplace wellbeing program design.

3 Ways Employers Can Support Positive Habit Change Among Employees

By Hollis Kool Aug 2, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Take a moment to consider the New Year’s resolutions you eagerly set for yourself at the beginning of this year. Remember that vision of a “new you” you saw parading in your mind?

Now flash forward to the present. Have you been hitting the gym, sticking to your diet plan, and spending more time with your family and friends? If so, good for you. That’s quite a feat. But if not... congratulations! You have a normally functioning response to negatively framed goals. Your neurological pathways for behavior change (or lack thereof) are right on track.

New Year’s resolutions, like many goals we aspirationally set for ourselves, focus on change from an undesired state or behavior to an ideal one. Although we may strive for self-improvement, it’s not as simple as just deciding that we want to be healthier, more generous, and well-balanced people. This process of setting ideals, but failing to reach them is an agonizing, yet very common one.

As an employer, it’s important to understand why you may be seeing performance outcomes by your employees that don’t match your (or likely their) ideals. Just as we all struggle with executing our New Year’s resolutions, employees can also have a hard time reaching their aspirations in the workplace. This is part of the bigger issue that humans can sometimes be our own barriers to achievement and change.

So how can you help employees make real, effective changes to their lives? Read on for a few ideas!

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About LifeDojo

Lifedojo solves the employer’s crisis of under-utilized disease management, behavioral health and well-being benefits through an all-encompassing employee behavior change engine.

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