Corporate wellness programs are an incredible tool for improving employee morale, creating a healthy, supportive company culture, and doing some real good for the employees who make your business possible – especially at a time when we are all socially distanced, yet craving connection.
However, most companies that implement corporate wellness programs see very little success or impact on their businesses.
The bad news is: not all corporate wellness programs are created equal.
The good news is: there are several things you can do to make sure your corporate wellness program does have a positive impact on the efficiency of your company, the health of your workforce, and the vitality of your company culture.
Corporate Wellness Programs & Employee Buy-In
The agenda behind your corporate wellness program is a powerful nuance that most companies don’t think about. While you may hope that your corporate wellness program will lower the cost of your employee health care, lower the cost of insurance, improve workplace productivity, and increase employee retention, that shouldn’t be the primary agenda.
Sure, your corporate wellness program should accomplish all of those things and more for your business. However, that shouldn’t be the driving purpose behind implementing such a program.
Employees are hip to the corporate jive. Frankly, employees want to work for companies that care genuinely about their well-being. Moreover, as fewer and fewer Americans are working in an office, employees want to feel seen even when they are clocking in from the home office.
Perception is everything and failing to clarify the true underlying purpose of your corporate wellness program – i.e., to help employees enjoy a higher quality of life and a more fulfilling experience with your company – means you’ll fail to cultivate employee buy-in.
Ultimately, employee buy-in is the dominating factor in determining whether corporate wellness programs work or not. When a company’s focus is strictly financial, employees rebel – either inwardly or outwardly – and the project is doomed from the start.
To rectify this, be transparent with your employees. Acknowledge the financial implications of your corporate wellness program, but also address the very real and important benefit you hope to achieve for each employee: a happier, healthier, more fulfilling experience working with your company.
Failing to Promote the Program to Employees
Many companies that adopt corporate wellness programs have good intentions, but they fail to take the time to engage their employees in the program.
Once your employees are onboard and feeling bolstered by your emotional and tangible investment in them, it’s time to make your team aware of the opportunity you’ve created for them: to significantly improve their health and wellness.
Oftentimes it takes 7 “touches” or reminders before someone is ready to take action on an opportunity. Rather than sending out one company-wide memo about your new corporate wellness program, make sure you’re sending out multiple reminders across several different channels.
Delegate the task to an employee in your HR department who would jump at the chance to get creative. Invite him or her to create at least five different announcements of the program – including both physical (good ol’ paper!) and digital versions. Just because your team may no longer be sharing an office bulletin board, doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate a hard-mailed copy of the program brochure.
Trickle these physical and digital notices out to your staff over the course of several weeks. While a witty meme may resonate with some of your staff, an email will strike a chord in the minds of others. Ensure your “touches” are diverse and appeal to the many different ways your team members may enjoy consuming content.
Overcomplicating the Process
Some corporate wellness programs can be difficult to use, thus creating a very real barrier to employee buy-in.
Be sure to choose a mechanism that appeals to your employees’ natural way of life and that will be easy for them to engage with on a regular basis.
For example, some corporate wellness programs require employees to login to a website on a desktop computer and navigate a complicated menu of options before finding the right pathway they need to enter their information and access their rewards.
However, according to a research study based on data from SimilarWeb, a web analytics provider, mobile use is exceeding desktop web activity across the board. People are logging in to websites and apps from their mobile devices more frequently, spend more time on mobile than desktop versions of sites, and are “bouncing” (leaving quickly) less often on mobile devices.
Finding a corporate wellness program that allows users to login to a mobile app easily as soon as they finish that at-home Peloton class, finish their healthy lunch, or see the number go down on the scale can dramatically improve the likelihood of continued use of the program.
Personalization of the Program
While there are several criteria that we can all agree on as “healthy,” when it comes to an individual pathway for achieving a healthy mind and body, things are far less linear.
Where one employee may be looking to lose weight, another may be looking to gain. Where one employee’s goal is to stop smoking, another may need help coping with anxiety while he juggles working from home with three screaming children running about.
When it comes to wellness, one size does not fit all. That’s why your corporate wellness program needs to be customizable and allow for participation options that employees feel are of their own choosing, rather than corporate mandates.
At the same time, allowing your employees the freedom to choose what health and wellness look like for them – for instance, one employee may be a natural runner while the other prefers low-impact aerobics like living room pilates – improves the likelihood of employee buy-in and improves the overall perception of your company’s attitude toward employees.
Corporate wellness programs are a fantastic way to do your part to help the American workforce, build a reputation of being a company that cares, and protect the integrity of the internal teams that make your business possible.
Luckily, setting up a corporate wellness program that’s affordable, simple, and easy to use doesn’t have to be a massive endeavor. Get in touch with us to schedule an audit of your current employee benefits and see where your company has opportunities to grow stronger together.
Hungry for more tips on employee wellness and creating a future-proof company culture? Let us know what you’d like help with in the comments below.