Increase Participation in Your Wellness Program
Participation in wellness programs is a two-way street- there are both short and long term
benefits for both the employee and employer. The key reason to start a corporate wellness
program is because the employer wants happy, healthy and productive workers. For the worker,
the wellness program allows him or her to remain healthy both physically and emotionally, and
be more connected with the company. For the employer, insurance costs will decrease over time
while other factors like morale and productivity increase over time.
Many surveys have been done indicating that when employees participate in wellness programs
they develop greater satisfaction in coming to work, the employees work harder, become more
productive and perceive themselves to be healthier. More important, the corporate wellness
program also creates a positive bond and better attitude towards the employer.
Other surveys reveal that employees who participate in wellness programs are more likely to
remain with the company and in fact even refer their friends to come and work for the same
company. The overall conclusion of most surveys reveals that employees who participate in
wellness programs believe that it contributes to their wellness, fitness and health. The employees
also state that companies who initiate wellness programs are concerned about their long-term
However, high participation in a wellness program is not achieved overnight, but does require
planning and commitment. If the wellness program is to have health benefits, then everyone in
the company has to be actively involved into the activity. The mission of a corporate wellness
program is to motivate employees to participate in some form of activity that keeps them
physically and emotionally healthy.
4 Principles for Creating a Wellness Program
Engaging the employee is a major challenge for more employers. For wellness programs to be
effective the majority of workers have to participate. Some of the ways to create a successful
wellness program include the following:
1. The program should be free or low cost. The first thing all employers should do is try not to
charge the employee for participation; charging a fee may discourage participation for some as
the employee may feel that the employer is thinking only about the business. When the program
is complementary, it tells the employee that the employer is interested in his or her welfare.
2. Secondly the wellness program should be convenient. Making a choice to remain healthy
should be an easy. The majority of people do not want to come across more hassles at work. The
wellness program should be easy with no long waits, easy to access and fun. Remote workers
should be able to participate with ease, utilizing technology created to engage everyone
regardless of location. Offering different challenges throughout the year designed to capture
diverse populations can be effective, ensuring all age groups, genders and health statuses are
3. Consider providing incentives for participation. This is one of the best ways to get people
interested in the program and get them started. The incentive does not always have to be
monetary but can be time rewards like offering 4 hours of PTO for winning a challenge for
example. This can be taken one step further by offering bonuses, money, gift cards, and
reduction in health premiums. Recognition alone is often a motivating reward for employees.
4. Continuous evaluation leads to continuous improvements. A great way to know if your
wellness program is helping the employees is to get some type of feedback on a regular basis.
Employees may even make suggestions to make the program better and volunteer to lead one or
more aspects of the program. Continuous feedback from employees as well as aggregate claim
data ensures that the program will consistently improve based on what the employees need and
what they are asking for
Choosing to offer a wellness program is a great step in engaging employees in their day to day
work duties. Happy and healthy employees lead to more productive employees which in turn
improves morale, retention, and health care costs over time. Consider offering engaging
activities like virtual or onsite cooking demonstrations, health fairs, fitness classes, webinars or
challenges. Contact us at email@example.com for a complimentary demo.
About This Contributor
Motivational and Inspirational Health and Wellness Speaker
Kim Farmer unites teams by igniting creative ideas in leadership teams utilizing her experience in health and wellness.