So you have done everything right, planned a lunch and learn, booked a fantastic speaker, provided lunch, and then waited for everyone to show up. Or you had a grand idea about a walking competition to get everyone moving more. Then the lack of participation is shocking and you are left to wonder why. According to WELCOA (Wellness Council of America) the first few steps of a successful wellness program is to survey the employees about their interests. If you skipped that step, it is like getting a teenager to clean their room, it Is not happening. Remember “wellness is something you do FOR people, not TO them”.
HealthMine, provider of a personalized health portal for employers and insurers, surveyed 1,200 consumers about wellness programs and the reasons that hold them back from participating. Lack of time is usually high on everyone’s list., which is not surprising and below are the other barriers listed on their aggregate report:
Many of these obstacles are similar to what clients at W3 are experiencing. The employee interest survey, senior level endorsement of the program, and proper promotion can help overcome some of these objections. Also, as you continue your wellness program you need to keep a pulse on the employees by tracking participation, using surveys and feedback constructively, and be consistent. Eventually, you will see a culture shift towards healthier lifestyles and the employees privacy and security concerns will lessen.
Be transparent with your aggregate results so the employee will feel some ownership in the wellness programming. A dashboard on your intranet displaying aggregate biometric results, participation numbers from wellness competitions, success stories, and future wellness offerings can help make your program more sustainable. “Arming individuals with clinical data helps make wellness meaningful. But overcoming inertia to take a healthy action is the first step,” said Bryce Williams, CEO and President of HealthMine. If your Wellness Program is not getting the participation that it should contact me to analyze where you can tweak your programming, promotions, incentives, etc to have better engagement.