Many organizations have some type of morning stretch program prior to the work day. They are often led by employees volunteering to lead the program. We consistently observe at various companies that many employees do not participate in the program. When asked why, the reasons are varied and some examples are:
- “Stretching isn’t for me.”
- “I don’t like it.”
- “I do this at home.”
Such generalized statements led us to think: Why? We gathered some of these employees and asked them if they would help us in finding answers. What we determined is that many employees do not participate because:
- They know their range of motion is very limited and they’re embarrassed;
- They’re overweight and consequently cannot perform the stretches, and again are embarrassed, or
- They think that stretching will re-aggravate prior surgeries or injuries.
Morning stretch programs should be designed specifically for these individuals, but are not. Allowing the morning stretch program to falter and die is a disservice to the employee.
Organizational managers and top executives can’t be focused on output and EBITDA alone. Remember, it’s the assembling employee that IS your means to achieve your output. If the employees are not educated and motivated to increase their physical abilities, the output will be continued accidents, inconsistent quality, longer output times and employee injuries.
If your stretching program is going through a similar decline, rather than scrapping the program welcome wellness companies in to revamp, teach, educate and motivate and continue to evolve the program. Stretching—proper, individualized stretching—requires professional education and in-person guidance.
Targeting the audience of employees that are very reluctant and may need this the most in order to prevent soft tissue injuries at work or outside of work takes a gentle touch, the right stretches, and a cheerleader’s loving enthusiasm to get them to stay the course.