There’s a phrase in social media circles that goes something like this, “It’s about action, not eyeballs”. If someone simply posts on social media just to gain followers then they definitely don’t adhere to this mantra. Most of us can agree that the general function of social media should be to connect and engage with people (as much as possible online!), sometimes for a certain cause, to reach a certain audience, etc. This can be essentially “measured” by all of the interactions you have with someone in your feed. Comments, direct messages, forwarding your post, tagging others, even a “like”--all of that is someone engaging with you. They went simply beyond just following your feed and quickly scanning your post--they chose to make another connection point. What does this have to do with your workplace or organization? More than you may think!
If we apply this to the workplace in general it might be “It’s about behavior, not butts in seats”. It’s about one’s impact on life, not impressions left on a chair. If all we are doing is counting the butt impressions in seats after an event, then we are just scratching the surface of opportunity to engage with and help others embrace change and a chance to move forward. Many people love and are addicted to social media because simply gaining a follower provides a boost of gratification and feedback that we did something that got someone’s attention. Wellness and human resource professionals often get addicted to employee participation metrics as sufficient feedback that justifies the program or the resources expended. That isn’t to say that metrics don’t have their place, because they do. But they shouldn’t be the full measure of value--people are worth more than a number. Just like people shouldn't place their value on the number of followers they have on social media.
Your goal should be to provide as many ways as possible for employees to engage with and experience the organization's vision. Creating a healthy and productive workplace and running various health programs and/or initiatives may be your ticket to better engagement. In order to do that we have to not simply provide more programs, but offer programs that actually provide meaningful opportunities for people to embrace and practice transforming themselves into better versions of themselves. Organizations that provide multiple experiences for employees to engage in self-health improvement are giving people more chances to connect with the organization’s health vision and their peers. Many people judge the success of employee programs based on participation alone. Participation is like a social media follower and worth little more than another pair of eyes. A follower who doesn’t engage tells you very little. At the very minimum it says that someone might of seen your post. Did they really read it? Did you strike a nerve? Are they on board with what you posted? Did they disagree? Did they find your picture on Instagram inspiring? You can’t answer any of those questions simply by seeing that someone follows you--you never know if they actually see what you are posting. Participation in a program at your workplace tells you very little as well. Participation isn’t a reliable measure of engagement, impact or change. Participation may be a start, but it’s definitely just the start. Each organization must establish their goals for any employee experience and then work even harder to find meaningful measures to evaluate impact on lives rather than just butt impressions in seats.
In social media and every day face to face life, all engagement matters, but impact and actual change matter much more than just participation and impressions. Don’t settle for the quick hit of positive feedback that participation numbers can provide. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for getting people in the room, but then move on to develop employee experiences that actually provide meaningful opportunities that actually positively impact and/or enhance peoples’ well-being.
We take this whole concept to heart here at Wellness Underground! When planning our events we aim to really connect with our attendees and fully engage with them. We don't simply want to fill the 40 seats at A People Movement--we want the seats filled with people who feel a connection to the conversations we are starting and the change we are igniting. Currently we are working on purposeful content that will have those "right" people fully engaged for three days in February. If you are saying "yes!" to the questions we are asking and challenges we are exploring, then you are one of our people! Join us by registering today!