Through our own experience assisting our clients and through research conducted by our community partners, we continuously analyze and track what seems to work and what doesn’t in workplace wellness programs. While wellness programs can look very different from company to company, there are a few fundamental principles to keep in mind regarding employee participation and engagement.
1. One-size-fits-all programs don’t engage employees. Not everyone has the same health concerns or goals, so offering a basic, stock wellness plan does not typically lead to high engagement. The best wellness programs have support for various life stages and consider all aspects of health (physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, etc.).
2. Creating a community and culture of wellbeing goes a long way. Great wellness programs find ways to make the goal of getting healthy social activity. Regular program reminders, incorporating wellness challenges in staff meetings, and creating a culture of celebrating successes are just a few ways to make your wellness program something employees can do together and generate higher engagement. Leadership engagement is key, and leaders who are examples and advocates for the program can increase their employees’ participation.
3. Incentives lead to higher engagement. Insurance premium discounts, free food, employee recognition, gift cards, raffle tickets – if there is a prize to be won, employees get it done (more often at least.)