So you have a Workplace Wellness Program but it’s not getting the results you predicted. You could be making some key mistakes.
When run correctly, Workplace Wellness Programs can unite your employees and lead to a stronger more productive workforce. Your’s however is not. You feel you’re doing everything correctly though; you have executive leadership, you have great posters and handouts, you’ve even given a health risk assessment to willing employees and had complimentary classes for a month, but you’re still seeing meager participation and very little (if any) return on investment. What gives?
True comprehensive Workplace Wellness Programs can be complicated. Contrary to popular belief, it’s more than strategically placed signs to raise awareness and a few incentives. Comprehensive Workplace Wellness Programs are multi-faceted and create a relationship as well as an experience. To be successful, Wellness Programming needs to be like a good comedian; build the audience, keep the audience interested and follow up repeatedly. The goals of wellness programming is to keep healthy people healthy, but also engage high-risk individuals to make them healthier. This requires extra effort in creating awareness, keeping them interested, and giving reassurance and support throughout the process. Many programs are more like “one-line wonders”; they have a round of classes, then never follow up. Wellness programming is about building healthy habits and making them convenient to keep. If you want longterm change, you need to support the process.
Yet another common mistake of Workplace Wellness Programs is the fixation with the ROI. While ROI is important in Wellness Programming, especially to the executives and administration; I’m pretty sure Jon Q. Employee in marketing is not concerned with his .53 to 1 loss on investment. However, it’s reasonably likely that Jon Q. Employee is concerned with being able to play baseball with his 8 year old son and being able to enjoy long bike rides with his beautiful wife. The fact is, while people realize that being healthy saves the company money, it won’t motivate them to become healthy. Individuals may need assistance in finding their motivation to be healthy, and that comes from interacting with Wellness Professionals who care. Wellness Professionals who see each employee as more than potential return on investment. Wellness Professionals that you probably haven’t invested in. To ensure continued participation, choose local businesses to provide your Wellness Professionals typically within a 15 minute drive of your employees. This allows easy access for employees to continue services before and after work and has the added effect of stimulating local business. This will help build healthy habits outside of work and maximize your ROI.
While Workplace Wellness Programs can be complicated, they can be successful when run correctively. Effective Workplace Wellness Programs eliminate barriers to participation and make wellness convenient for employees. Couple this with Wellness Professionals genuinely interested in the health and wellness of your employees and you’re sure to get the ROI you predicted.