Employee Participation With Your Corporate Wellness Program

If your employee participation is low in your corporate wellness program, that’s going to spell trouble for your program.

You’ve decided the health of your employees are important and read that an employee wellness program is a great way to improve their health, boost employee morale, lower healthcare costs. You’ve invested your hard earned money in hopes to build a corporate wellness program that all of your employees engage in. Awesome!

But just like so many companies before you, your program struggles to get going. Employees are not engaging with the program and despite your best efforts, nothing helps. What went wrong?

We’ve seen that scenario play out over and over again. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place, this is what we do. Kadalyst helps employers build thriving employee wellness programs that bring in positive ROI for your company. 

With that being said, we’ll be discussing a few different ways to start improving your employee engagement with your wellness program.

Your Survey Should Guide The Way

If you guessed on the programs you implemented for your employees, you made a big mistake. You should never guess, you always want data to back your actions.

You need to survey your employees and find out what type of programs they would like to see implemented into your wellness program. This data is key to turning your program around and learning what things your employees with engage in.

Pay close attention to your surveys and what your employees are telling you. Some of the best ideas you can implement for your wellness program can come from your employees.

Build The Right Culture

You won’t hear many others discussing this in detail but it matters, worksite culture is key to operating a successful corporate wellness program.

Your company culture must prioritize wellness. If you don’t, it’s not going to be important to your employees. You want to focus on your goal of helping your employees get healthier and never lose track of that.

Leadership is going to play a key role in the success or failure of your corporate wellness program. You need your top leadership positions to participate. You have to lead by example, this is how you earn the trust and focus of your employees. 

Open communication is another big pillar to running a successful wellness program. Your employees may not understand your program or they may feel like they can’t use it. Your messaging matters also, if the focus is on work first, health 2nd, you may be sending the wrong message to your employees without knowing about it.

Offer Employees Incentives

The most successful employee wellness programs offer incentives and we always recommend the same. You want your incentives to be fair, this is extremely important. Your employees will be at different stages of life, they’re going to have different health concerns, so always make sure you keep this in mind when designing your rewards structure. 

There’s a wide range of incentives to offer;

  • Reduced health-care premiums
  • Additional PTO (paid time off)
  • Free fitness/exercise products
  • Free gym membership
  • Leave work early
  • Gift cards

Make It Fun

If your program is not fun, you’re going to get low engagement. If your wellness program feels more like work or worse, employees won’t participate.

Employee participation is key to achieving your goals and positive ROI on your investments. 

Yes, you want your programs to focus on health but you want them to be entertaining, enjoyable and fun. Every program doesn’t have to be dead serious, solely focused on health. Think outside the box, but also get input from your employees, you can never go wrong with that.

Make It Easy

If your corporate wellness program is difficult to understand, difficult to communicate, employees are not going to bother with it. It must be easy. 

Every program shouldn’t just focus on running, walking, weight lifting, etc. Rather, you could have cooking classes that focus on healthy foods for example. You could also have programs that focus on education and teaching.

Another great idea for those of your employers that are struggling to get participation, try having a program that allows your employees the opportunity to participate during work hours. In fact, you should still pay them, don’t penalize them for their participation. It could be 30 minutes, 45 minutes, even 60 minutes long.

Encourage And Reward Success

Be sure to check out our wellness challenge ideas, this will give you some more inspiration. 

You always want to encourage and reward success. When employees complete a program or challenge, give them a reward. Make sure you praise your employees for a job well done. 

There’s no room for negativity in your program. If you want to attract other employees to join, many of them are going to need motivation. As a leader, it’s up to you to motivate your team and articulate the value of your wellness program.

Test, Test, Test

Few employee wellness programs are complete and successful right out the gate. You have to learn what works and what doesn’t. The mistake is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

You need to test, test, and test some more. 

Make surveys a constant factor in your wellness program. Let your employees know that you’re open to their ideas and suggestions. Give them the floor and a mic, but make sure they know it. 

You want to keep track of everything you’re doing and the results they’re producing. A simple notebook and pen is all you need to keep track of activities, suggestions, results, etc.

Employee Participation Help

While we only covered a few things we know that works, every scenario is different. Hiring the right corporate wellness consultant can help your employee wellness program thrive. 

Kadalyst has years of experience helping employers successfully create thriving wellness programs. We also help employers implement new wellness programs. No matter what side you’re on, we can help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

You can reach us at 503-512-5175 or by using our contact form.

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