The vitality conversation: Questions you shouldn't be asking your employees

When it comes to discussing vitality and wellness, the road to good intentions can be paved with awkward moments and discomfort. As HR managers, you are often tasked with spearheading health initiatives. However, even with the best intentions, we can find ourselves asking questions that, despite our motives, can come across as intrusive or judgmental. So, what are these conversational landmines, and how can we sidestep them? Keep reading for an enlightening guide.

Time to read: 3 minutes

The vitality conversation: Questions you shouldn't be asking your employees

"Are our health benefits adequate?" instead of "What specific health benefits do you believe could further enhance your wellness and productivity?"

"Are you participating in our wellness programs?" instead of "What barriers or challenges are preventing you from participating in our wellness programs?"

"Do you feel the company promotes a work-life balance?" instead of "What specific strategies could we adopt to foster a better work-life balance?"

"Are our wellness communications clear?" instead of "What can we do to improve the clarity and effectiveness of our wellness communications?"

"Do you think our wellness programs meet your needs?" instead of "Can you suggest any tailored wellness programs or resources that would better meet your needs?"

"Are the wellness program schedules convenient?" instead of "What times and formats (in-person, virtual) for wellness programs would be most accessible and convenient for you?"

"Do you feel supported by the company in maintaining a healthy lifestyle?" instead of "What additional support or resources would you appreciate to maintain or improve your healthy lifestyle?"

"Is the gym membership benefit useful to you?" instead of "Would you prefer other forms of fitness support (like home workout equipment or app subscriptions) over a traditional gym membership?"

"Do you find our mental health support sufficient?" instead of "What specific mental health resources or initiatives would you find most helpful?"

"Are the wellness program incentives attractive to you?" instead of "What types of rewards or recognition would inspire you to consistently engage in our wellness programs?"

Understanding the potential implications of these seemingly innocent questions can help us shift the dialogue around vitality to a more empathetic and supportive space. Remember, our goal as HR managers should be to nurture an environment where employees feel empowered to make healthy choices rather than feeling policed or pressured about their health. As we make these conversations more respectful and uplifting, we get closer to building a truly vibrant workforce. And as we tread this path, let's recall the wise words of Maya Angelou, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."