Conversations with Kadalyst: How Nautilus, Inc. Uses Feedback and Testing to Meets Its Employees Differing Wellness Needs

You might think that a company that sells fitness equipment would have no trouble keeping its employees healthy. And, based on the number of awards and recognitions Nautilus, Inc. has received for being a healthy place to work, the company is doing a pretty good job.

But, even a company that is dedicated to building a healthy workplace has to do some work to ensure that its employees are aware of the many wellness initiatives it offers. And, as Nautilus HR Generalist Samantha Meneses told us when we sat down for an interview, to encourage full participation, a wellness program has to offer something for everyone.

Meneses said, “Everyone has a different wellness journey that they’re on…everyone’s going to be different.” To provide program offerings that suit the needs of different employees, Nautilus gathers feedback from those employees. And, Meneses added, she’s not afraid to try new things to see how employees respond.

Information gathering and feedback

Meneses explained that one of the things that Nautilus does to ensure employees’ needs are met is to have monthly wellness committee meetings. These meetings include representatives from throughout the organization and provide Meneses with an opportunity to share ideas and receive feedback.

In addition, the company conducts an annual review of its wellness program and surveys employees about their likes and dislikes. It was through this type of discovery that Meneses learned that, although popular, participating in the Tough Mudder obstacle race wasn’t every employee’s idea of a good time. She also learned that a softball team might be a popular addition to the company’s wellness lineup.

Try it, they might like it

Another way Meneses has found to keep Nautilus’ wellness program fresh is to give new offerings and events a try. This is particularly easy when the initiative is a low- or no-cost one. By testing an event or activity, the wellness committee can get active feedback from employees and gain a better understanding of their population’s needs.

For example, Nautilus introduced a Wellness Wednesday series that features speakers from the surrounding community who discuss subjects such as financial and emotional wellness as well as physical well-being. The speakers volunteer their time, keeping costs low. The pay off? Meneses and the wellness committee discovered that other components of wellness–financial, emotional, and social–are important to Nautilus employees.

Mix things up

As we spoke with Meneses, she made clear that a wellness program focused on only one population or one area of wellness won’t serve your entire workforce. She mentioned that employees sometimes approached her with concerns that they weren’t able to participate in athletic events and were missing out on the wellness program’s incentives as a result. Employees who earned a full passport of participation stamps were eligible for an insurance premium discount. To remedy the problem, Meneses and the wellness committee take extra care to solicit employee suggestions for activities or behavioral changes that can be performed to earn the necessary stamps.

Don’t give up

Never stop trying, never stop advocating. If we had to name one key takeaway from our conversation with Meneses, it would be to never give up. It took her over a year to gather enough support for Nautilus’ very popular mindfulness program. But, she put together a proposal that convinced the company to give it a try and now the program is a success.

This “never give up” motto applies to encouraging individual employees to participate in the company’s wellness initiatives, too. Meneses said, “Wellness programs work, you just have to get that person at the right time.”

Help every employee achieve their wellness goals with a program designed with them in mind

“When employees feel that workplace wellness initiatives are flexible enough to meet their individual needs, engagement increases,” writes Liz Byrd in the article, Companies revamp wellness programs with flexibility in mind. Use the tips that we learned from Nautilus’ Samantha Meneses to help you discover the wellness wants and needs of your workforce, then craft a personalized program that they’ll love. You and your employees will reap the rewards.

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