Workplace wellness programs are wonderful things. Effective wellness programs can increase employee productivity and reduce health risks. But when a wellness program loses momentum, employees disengage, participation declines, and health risks increase—not good.
So, why do some wellness programs start to fizzle out—even the most successful ones? Here are some common culprits:
- Wellness program is repetitive, stagnant, or over-complicated
- Incentives are unappealing to members—or nonexistent
- There’s no leadership buy-in
- Communications are lackluster or outdated
Here are four tips to help infuse new life into your wellness program:
Tip 1: Enlist Your Employees
Employee engagement is necessary to improve your wellness program and culture, so ask for feedback. Employee insight can be extremely valuable—and free! Plus, enlisting the assistance of your employees helps foster a sense of collaboration and ownership, which can ultimately increase program engagement. And consider enlisting peer-level leaders and motivators—what we call Wellness Champions—who can advise, educate, encourage, and motivate other employees throughout the program.
Tip 2: Get Real About Incentives
Research shows just one in five employees will participate in a wellness program without tangible rewards. If employees roll their eyes at your program incentives, it’s time to up your incentives game. Incentives drive the outcome you seek, so they should align with your program goals. Choose incentives that both resonate with your members and support your goals—whether it’s cash, paid time off, or a health insurance premium reduction.
Tip 3: Rally Your Leadership
Studies show employees want employers to play an active role in improving their health. If employees sense leadership isn’t invested, engaged, or taking the wellness program seriously, neither will they. Have a heart-to-heart with leadership about the importance of leadership buy-in. When they engage in the program and promote it, it creates a trickle-down effect to employees. Encourage them to lead by example.
Tip 4: Reenergize Communications
Just because you’ve successfully launched a wellness program doesn’t mean the work ends there. You should continually communicate program components in a way that speaks to your unique and diverse demographic. Instead of relying on one avenue, like email, try utilizing a combination of that might include text messages, push notifications, paycheck stuffers, or mailers, to effectively reach your employees.
Whether your program needs a boost or is currently going strong, keeping these tips in mind can ensure continued wellness program success for a healthier and happier workforce.