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employee engagement in corporate wellness programs

Planning, designing, executing, and managing an employee wellness program is very daunting. However, for your employee wellness program to be a success, it is essential that your workforce engages well and reaps the actual benefits that it offers. More importantly, they must feel happy to participate and enthusiastic to keep going on with the wellness program activities.

Establishing a healthy workplace culture is one of the best employee engagement strategies that is beneficial to the workplace in many ways –

  • It creates awareness about good health and wellbeing.
  • It lays a strong foundation to support the workforce.
  • It encourages healthy lifestyle habits, thus reducing healthcare costs.
  • It can enhance employee productivity and reduce absenteeism rates.
  • It improves employee retention and satisfaction, reducing turnover rates.

Increasing Employee Participation in Corporate Wellbeing Programs

For many employees, their health and wellbeing is a very personal and private matter. And so, they may not be comfortable talking about to their employers or others. Also, there is always a fear that they may be opinionated or discriminated against based on their health conditions.

Unless these employees are really convinced about the benefits of the corporate wellbeing programs and how good a positive workplace culture can be, they may not be open to participate or engage well. Employers must anticipate the probable barriers and obstacles through the wellness program journey, and plan an actionable solution to overcome them effectively.

Here are few potential obstacles that most employers face with causing poor employee engagement of the corporate wellness programs.

1. Employees are not aware of the wellness program

Some studies show employees are not aware that their company offers a corporate wellness program or about its modules. One of the key reasons for this is lack of communication.

Employers must go the extra mile to communicate about the corporate wellness program, its modules, and various other touchpoints. Create an easy guide or a step-by-step model to communicate about the different features, like –

  • Participation members (only staff, their spouses, dependents, etc.)
  • The holistic wellness challenges, healthy habit programs, rewards, and more.

Communicate through different channels including putting up posters around the workplace, push notifications, emails, internal messengers, and regular reminders to register or with other relevant information. With the right marketing and communication strategies, you can make sure all the information reaches out to the entire workforce at the right time, reflecting better employee engagement in the corporate wellness programs.

2. Employees do not understand the value of the wellbeing program

When the benefits or value of the employee wellness programs are not clear, participation and engagement are bound to be low. Implementing effective employee engagement strategies that communicate the benefits and motivate employees to participate in the wellbeing programs are crucial.

Start by conducting simple health assessments or polls to understand the potential health risks and lifestyle habits. Observe the frequent healthcare claims area and other health risks. Plan suitable wellness program modules and wellness challenge ideas that target specific employee health and wellbeing needs. For example, if there are smokers in the employee group and they are looking for help, implementing a smoking cessation program can be very useful. Since it meets the workforce interests and benefits them, there will be high employee engagement and better health, reflecting lower healthcare costs in the long run.

3. Employees do not know how to participate or engage

Even if the workforce is aware of the employee wellness programs and their benefits, they may not be sure how to participate. This communication gap and lack of proper information can stop them from participating in corporate wellness programs.

Every employee must be aware of the steps needed to register and participate in the corporate wellness programs. The specific program modules, along with all the details about rewards, challenges, and other upcoming events, must be conveyed to the employees.

Having different point solutions for different wellbeing activities can be confusing for employees and tedious for the program administrators. Implementing a comprehensive corporate wellness program from a single program provider is one of the best ways to streamline employee focus and engagement on specific wellbeing activities. When the wellness challenges, daily healthy habit programs, activity trackers, and other program modules are available through a single robust employee wellness platform, it becomes easy for the workforce to know from where and how to carry out all the wellness activities.

4. Employees are indecisive or hesitant to participate

As aforementioned, many employees prefer keeping their health and wellbeing conditions under wraps with the fear of getting discriminated against or losing their job. This leads to poor employee engagement, and an eventual failure of the wellbeing program.

Employers must establish a positive workplace culture and transparency to have the employees come forward voluntarily, open up about their health concerns, and engage well in corporate wellness programs to improve their holistic wellbeing.

Employers must also communicate the different processes, security levels, and how the health data is protected and used to gain trust. They must also clearly mention the objectives of collecting, storing, and using the health data, so the employees understand how and where their information will be used. More importantly, employers must make sure their corporate wellness programs are compliant with the regulations of HIPAA, EEOC, and other legal bodies to ensure maximum protection to employee personal data.

An effective corporate wellness program has high employee engagement that helps meet the wellness goals and brings the anticipated ROI. Offering the right resources and coaching systems can help in motivating and supporting the employees. Furthermore, it is essential to address the preventable health risks by implementing suitable wellness challenge ideas through the corporate wellness programs, along with the right employee engagement strategies to ensure a meaningful impact on workplace wellbeing and culture.

Post Author: Admin