The right wellness program will improve productivity, company morale, employee retention and ultimately help your business grow. However, even the best wellness program is only effective if employees engage with it. Truly engaged employees are inspired to live healthier lives and reach their full potential, at work and at home.
While many organizations have success getting employees enrolled in their wellness program, it is much harder to generate sustained participation over time. Follow these three steps, recommended by the CDC, to ensure that employees continue to engage with your wellness program long after enrollment.
Step 1: Design & Analyze
When designing a wellness program, it is crucial that employees are involved in the process. Employees are significantly more likely to stick with a wellness program that they had a hand in creating.
Gather employee feedback by distributing surveys or conducting focus groups. Assemble a wellness committee. There are countless ways to get employees involved. Choose a data-collection method that works for your organization, but be sure to find out what your employees’ needs and interests are.
Step 2: Implement
The manner in which a wellness program is implemented may determine whether it succeeds or fails. A successful wellness program needs to be accessible above all else.
Employees and their family members should be able to enroll and participate using their preferred method—online, in-person, or over the phone. By the same token, wellness offerings should be communicated to employees using every available channel. It’s incredibly easy to miss an email.
Spread the word by putting up posters, advertising on your internal website, utilizing company message boards, distributing newsletters, and sending out postcards. The more often your employees are reminded about wellness initiatives, the more likely they are to participate.
Step 3: Evaluate Success
To sustain participation and engagement over time, communication about wellness programs should be frequent and ongoing. Leaders and managers often communicate the benefits of wellness programs to encourage employees to enroll, but these discussions usually end when the enrollment period does.
To keep the conversation going, leadership should constantly communicate both the benefits of joining and the success stories of employees who already have. The employees recognized for their efforts will be motivated to continue participating and others will be inspired to join in.
In addition to sharing success stories, leadership must regularly evaluate how things are going and make adjustments where necessary. Just as employees were involved in the design process, they should be equally involved in the evaluation process. Distribute surveys to participants to gather feedback regarding their satisfaction level as well as their suggestions for improvement. It is also worthwhile to survey employees that have not yet enrolled to determine what may be holding them back.
The bottom line:
At the end of the day, frequent communication between leadership, HR, and employees is the key to a successful wellness program that keeps employees engaged. Involving employees in every step of the process increases their personal investment in the program, leading to lasting success.