Wasted Wellness: Why Employees Aren't Taking Advantage of Your Wellness Program
Are you having a difficult time getting employees to participate in your company's wellness program? For many HR directors, the time and money spent creating work-life balance programs seems wasted when employees miss workshops and fail to take advantage of the various programs and opportunities you've taken the time to create.
While it may seem next to impossible, there are proven, effective ways to activate your employees and inspire them to take part in your wellness program.
Here are 5 effective ways to increase employee involvement and transform your wellness program from "most missed" to "must go!"1. Identify Your "Target Market"
Not all employees are created equal. This is especially true when it comes to health and wellness. Millennials have different needs than the 40+ crowd. Employees with young families need different programs than single people or those who have adult children.
Begin by identifying and categorizing your employees into different demographics. Is your company made up of mostly individuals in age range of 30-40? Are 50% recent college graduates and 50% more than 50 years old? Take a look at the numbers before you...2. Have a Conversation
The key to creating a successful, well-attended program lies in talking to your employees. Survey them and ask them what they value most in a wellness program.
Keep in mind that different demographics may want different programs and offerings.Millennials might like a hip-hop class or weekend outings, while 40-somethings might crave lunch break yoga classes.
You don't know until you ask. If you don't ask, you're likely to offer classes and activities that nobody desires, which will result in low attendance.3. Set a Realistic Budget
Be realistic about what you can and can't offer, especially when it comes to things like offsite memberships. If you can't get $50-$100/person from your boss, it's probably not worth it to offer an offsite membership.
Use the budget you do have to create a program centered around your employees' specific wants and needs. It's always better to spend less but keep promises than to offer high-end memberships that never materialize or fall short of expectations.4. Analyze the Buyer Relationship
Improve the quality of your wellness program by analyzing your buyer relationships. Vendors, organizations and businesses that contribute to your wellness program might offer incentives to employees in the form of credit. See if that credit can be converted into cash and applied to your program. Buyers will be flexible because they'll want to keep your business, and employees will be enticed by the extras you can add using this technique.5. Consider Company Culture
Employees will hesitate to take part in a program that's not in line with company culture. A publicly owned company offering high-priced memberships to a swanky health club is likely to undergo scrutiny, both from employees and the general public. The wellness program you create should be directly in line with company values, and should enhance and complement those values.
It's absolutely possible to activate your employees, increase attendance, and reignite your employee wellness program. Be sure to identify company demographics, do research and determine the different needs of the categories that you have determined. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Never make promises that you cannot keep, and create a wellness program based on your company's unique culture.
Fran Dean Bishop is an award winning business coach and CEO with 20 years in the health management industry. She founded Aerobodies Fitness Company, (now AFC Management Services), in 1994 as a corporate service provider of health promotion, fitness management and behavior change programs for the private sector and federal agencies. Fran also designed and launched two successful health technology innovations, MyEquilibriumCoach and MECkids.com. To request Fran for a speaking engagement or workshop, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org