Choosing Topics for Employee Wellness Training
By Beth Dokolasa, MA, RD, Guest Writer
Once you’ve determined the structure and format of your store’s employee wellness program (if you haven’t, click here, for guidance), it’s time for the fun part – selecting the health and nutrition topics you want to teach your co-workers.
Because you’re so passionate about wellness, you’re likely bursting with training topic ideas — especially when you see what employees eat during their lunch breaks — however, your training topic calendar should be developed in a way that helps minimize your preparation time and maximizes the impact your trainings have on employee wellness, store sales, and other goals you have identified.
Here are some ways to be strategic when developing your training topic calendar:
- Consider adapting customer-facing training materials you’ve already created to use with employees. By focusing on topics you’re currently emphasizing with customers, you’ll not only save time, you’ll also create a better experience for customers if employees are informed and able to speak about the topic in the aisles.
- You can’t go wrong by focusing on seasonal topics such as managing stress during the holidays though food and lifestyle habits or talking about healthy hydration in the summer. Because these topics are timely, they will resonate with employees. There are a lot of great food-themed calendars out there to give you inspiration, but I especially like this one from the Nebraska Extension.
- Look for ways to be cohesive with other training employees receive to make your topics feel relevant and applicable. For example, if employees needing frequent re-training on safe handling of items in the Prepared Foods Department, focus a training on common food allergies to help them understand the importance of avoiding cross-contamination.
- Retail tends to have a higher turnover rate than other industries. Make sure each training session can stand-alone so that if an employee is brand new and training with you for the first time, they won’t feel behind if they don’t have the background information from a previous training.
You will find that your co-workers have different levels of interest in health and wellness. No matter what topic you choose, it’s difficult to create a “one-size fits all” training. To foster further learning, create opportunities for employees to follow-up with you who may have questions or want to know more information. By encouraging enthusiastic employees, you begin a shift towards a wellness-centered culture at your store!