When Less is More: Why Bigger May Not Be Better When It Comes to Wellness

04.10.2018

‘Go big or go home’ seems to be the mantra of choice for many employers when implementing a workplace wellness program. But is the ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ approach really the most effective way to achieve a healthier work environment?

When it comes to personal well-being, there are about a million options, routines, diets, and exercises to choose from. It can be overwhelming. It’s no wonder so many people put off getting started and decide to do the worst thing possible: nothing. 

It’s the same with wellness programs. Everywhere you look, there are big decisions to make about your program. And with more options available than ever before, there seems to be a growing trend to make things more complicated than they need to be.

It’s understandable. We all want to see the results, after all. And the sooner the better. But wellness—like most good things—takes time. And while a program with many moving parts may look good on paper, keeping your program simple has more than a few significant benefits.

It’s More Accessible
What’s the point of having a wellness program if your employees don’t jump on board to participate? Overly complicated programs can discourage employees from engaging by confusing them into paralysis. Especially if they are unsure of what they need to do in order to achieve program goals and earn incentives. Keeping things simple can encourage participation by carefully guiding employees to take small but important steps toward a healthier lifestyle, one at a time.

It’s Easier to Communicate
Communication is one of the key ingredients of any successful wellness program. And the best communication pieces are short and to the point. That can be difficult to accomplish when you’re trying to explain a complex and confusing program. No one wants to look at a brochure or flyer that’s jam-packed with long paragraphs of unbroken text and multiple charts. A simple program can help keep your communication efforts short and sweet, and help ensure they actually get looked at instead of tossed aside and ignored.

It’s More Attainable
When you’re just starting down the healthy path, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by trying to do too much, too soon. That’s why so many New Year’s resolutions go unfulfilled, and it’s exactly where many complicated programs go wrong. In their ambition to do too much, too fast, complex programs can seem daunting for those who are new to wellness. But a more simple program can help guide employees of all wellness levels down a healthier path by showing them exactly what they need to do to keep moving toward their personal health goals.

It Offers Flexibility
Simple doesn’t mean linear. Everyone begins their wellness journey from a different place. And not everyone wants to achieve the same health goals. Yet, there’s a misconception that simple programs can’t be flexible. In fact, the less complicated a program is, the easier it is to present options to your employees. By providing clear choices instead of strict and confusing rules, you can build options into your program that allow employees to customize their activities to fit their needs, which in turn can keep them engaged throughout the year.

Let’s face it, your employees are probably already stressed enough just going through the day-to-day grind. They shouldn’t have to stress about something like a wellness program, which—by the way—is supposed to be fun. By bringing things back to the basics of what works, your employees will be able to focus on completing program objectives and building healthier habits, while you’re able to focus on ways to promote a healthier workplace culture and happier workforce.

 

 

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