Retail Employee Wellness Training Continued: Developing Your Program
By Beth Dokolasa, MA, RD, Guest Writer
In my last article, I discussed the unexpected benefits of providing ongoing health and wellness training to your co-workers. However, an ongoing training program will only be successful if it seamlessly fits in with your schedule and a busy retail setting. Below I share a few program ideas and how they can integrate into your store’s operations.
- Conduct a survey to find out what employees would like to see in an ongoing health and wellness training program. Getting feedback can help narrow and refine some of the many ideas you likely have swirling around in your head, and you can use it to get a baseline measure of your staff’s health and wellness knowledge.
- Identify what ongoing training employees currently receive, and explore how you can add in a health and wellness segment. For example, if employees attend a quarterly staff safety training, see if you can spend 5-10 minutes at the end of each meeting discussing something wellness related. This method may be preferred by management because it does not require much change to the store’s regular schedule.
- Seek approval for employees to receive an incentive for participating in events and activities you already coordinate for your customers and community. This option is appealing because it doesn’t add extra work for you. However, one of the main benefits of providing ongoing training to employees is that they feel more loyal to their job when they have received personalized training and support. By lumping the employees in with your customer programs, employees may not get that same “warm fuzzy” feeling towards the company.
Whichever path you decide to pursue, involve your store management from the beginning. Having them invested in your new initiative’s success will make them better champions of your program, and in return, your co-workers will be more excited about participating.
And remember, just because your training program launches with a certain structure doesn’t mean it can’t change and evolve. Consider launching the program as a 3 or 6 month “pilot,” so that you can gather feedback from management and employees after implementation and propose adjustments as needed.
Beth Dokolasa is a Registered Dietitian and Instructional Developer for Natural Grocers. She creates e-learning for a variety of audiences on topics from nutrition to customer care. For Beth, the most important part of her role is providing training content in a way that empowers and engages learners. During her time at Natural Grocers, she also helped develop and lead the Nutritional Health Coach training program and helped manage the Nutrition Education Department. Beth earned her bachelor’s at the University of Illinois - Urbana and her master’s at the University of Denver. She currently lives in Evergreen, Colorado.