A recent survey of 617 full-time workers provided some details about the state of employee wellness programs. Specifically, it found that a third of all employees participate in at least one part of their employee wellness program. This number is a bit higher than ones reported by other organizations, but regardless, it is low enough for critics to cast doubts on the efficacy of wellness programs in general, especially when employers are paying for all their eligible employees. This is why finding wellness partners who align their costs with performance by only charging for active users is so important.
The survey also found that just over half of the same respondents said that they participate in some type of wellness activity. This is a significant difference from those participating in wellness through an employer-sponsored activity. This highlights that most programs aren’t meeting employees where they are by offering programs that are not of interest to them. Employers should create clear feedback loops to gauge employee interests. A great place to start is launching an employee wellness interest survey. Here is a free one to download.
Below are some other interesting facts from the survey and some brief commentary.
- Those who work outside the confines of a traditional office are more likely to pursue the types of activities typically encouraged by wellness programs on their own, rather than through an employer-sponsored initiative. Does this surface another benefit for teleworking and/or flexible work schedules?
- 20% of survey respondents said their organization offers a program, but that they choose not to participate. Interestingly, millennials are less likely than others to take part in such programs than their elder colleagues. Does this question the strategy behind building programs that are technology or mobile-centric? These programs often align themselves as being popular with the largest part of the workforce – millennials.