Employee wellness programs are trending for all good reasons. Be it helping your workforce improve their lifestyle habits, reduce healthcare costs, or boost employee engagement – Wellness Programs seem to lay the foundation for these plans.
However, for the employee wellness programs to be successful in achieving their set goals, they must have high workplace engagement. And so, implementing the right employee engagement strategies is the core of a successful wellness program.
Of all the different employee engagement strategies, wellness challenges are the most crucial ones.
Workplace wellness challenges are an integral part of most well-designed employee wellbeing programs. They play a key role in cultivating healthy habits and achieving wellbeing goals. Most comprehensive programs include workplace wellness challenges that focus on holistic wellbeing dimensions.
Though it might seem simple, successful wellness challenges are built only after a lot of trials and errors. Here are reasons why wellness challenges for work may fail.
- Underestimating the required time and resources
- Lack of employee engagement
- Shortcomings in running the program
Underestimating the required time and resources – Designing and implementing successful employee wellness challenges take a lot of time and other resources. However, most companies think it is a cakewalk and underestimate the efforts that go into it. Right from planning the wellness challenge ideas to promoting them, the entire process needs a lot of resources going into its implementation and journey to achieve success.
Lack of employee engagement – Though most employees may want to improve their health and wellbeing, it is not always easy to keep them motivated. This lack of interest can lead to poor employee engagement, ultimately causing the failure of the wellness challenges and the entire program. So, understanding employee goals and their interests can help in identifying what motivates them, thus, boosting employee engagement. Employers can conduct engagement surveys and health assessments to know employee health concerns, programs of interest, working schedules, personal commitments, and other details.
Shortcomings in running the program – Many times, it is assumed that planning and executing the program will have it run successfully. Sadly, this does not happen. Even after implementing the wellbeing program and workplace challenges, it needs constant attention and management throughout the running of the wellness program.
The Essence to Build Effective Wellness Challenges for Work
Designing effective workplace wellness challenges is possible, but they must be done meticulously by considering many pointers. Here are a few ways to boost employee engagement of your workplace wellness challenges.
- Know Your Employee Wellbeing Needs
As the recipe to planning the right wellness challenges for work changes from one workplace to another, employers must take a closer look into employee wellbeing needs, interests, and demographics to plan the best-suited activities. For example, if your employee group has many smokers who are looking to quit smoking, it would make sense to implement smoking cessation wellness challenges. On the other hand, if your employee group has many non-smokers, having smoking cessation wellness challenges will not help.
- Make it Fun with Gamification
Over time, the same wellness challenge ideas and activities may seem boring, thus reducing employee engagement. Making it fun with new wellness challenge ideas and gamification approaches can boost engagement. Employers can have a corporate wellness platform that allows device and app integration, making it easy to log and track activity progress. Having visually appealing graphs, images, incentives, and other gamification approaches can make wellbeing challenges and activities fun, raising employee engagement.
- Promote Healthy Competition
Healthy competition is a great way to ensure employee engagement in the workplace wellness challenges while having fun. The friendly competitiveness also boosts employee morale, confidence, improves interaction amongst co-workers, and builds stronger teams. A healthy, positive, and fun competitiveness can build healthy workplace culture, reflecting better engagement and employee wellbeing.
- Seek Employee Feedback
Communication is the key to the success of the workplace wellness challenges and the entire employee wellness program. And so, seeking regular employee feedback is crucial to know if you are on the right track. Employers can conduct engagement surveys or polls to seek employee feedback about –
- Are they happy with the wellness challenge ideas? If not, why?
- What type of wellness activities would they like to have as a part of their employee wellness programs?
- What kind of incentives can motivate them to engage and achieve their goals?
- Suggestions and ideas to improve wellness challenges and programs
Making fun, engaging, and new workplace wellness challenges as your employee wellbeing strategy is a great way to ensure the program’s success. However, the wellness challenges will not run by themselves. Talk to your wellness vendor to know the different workplace wellness challenges they offer, along with the supporting technology and challenge templates. Once all the strategies and details are in place, it becomes easier to design and implement effective employee wellness challenges.