It’s time we lower the bar for corporate wellness participation. It’s too difficult to participate in most corporate wellness programs and as a result most programs see low employee engagement. Low employee engagement restricts the potential benefits of wellness, like reduced healthcare expenditures and increased employee productivity.
#1: Get Rid of the Clunky Portal
Get rid of the clunky wellness portal – no one wants to use it. Many employers make the mistake of implementing a wellness portal that is confusing, overridden with unnecessary features, and time consuming to use. While wellness may be an enterprise software purchase, it should be viewed through a consumer lens. If a consumer wouldn’t want to use the wellness portal, your employees probably won’t either.
#2: Provide Options
Provide employees with options. Wellness should be defined broadly and employees should be able to choose from various ways to participate. Restricting wellness to just one activity, like a step challenge, will limit the number of employee participants. Every employee is unique and a successful program must treat wellness as a one size fits one solution.
#3: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Make wellness familiar. Allow employees to BYOW (bring your own wellness). Don’t try to reinvent the wellness wheel by introducing wellness technology tools that employees have never heard of. Find a wellness program that allows employees to use popular consumer wellness apps like RunKeeper and Moves, and wearable devices like Fitbit. Employees are already using or familiar with these apps and will be more likely to participate in a program that includes them.
#4: Accessibility is Key
Make wellness accessible. Wellness should be available at work, at home, or wherever an employee goes. Technology wellness resources that are smartphone and tablet accessible make wellness mobile. Mobile wellness will allow employees the flexibility to choose when and where to engage in wellness. Accessible also means equitable. Providing wellness resources locally, only to employees in a particular office, heavily restricts employee engagement. Mobile wellness resources allow all employees, regardless of geographic location, to have access to the same quality and wellness experience.
The window for successful wellness participation is small. If employees don’t like the wellness experience at first, they likely won’t be repeat users, and engagement will suffer. Ensure that employees get involved in wellness and stay engaged by lowering the bar for participation.