Getting employees to participate in worksite wellness programs is has been an ongoing chief concern of many wellness managers over the years, according to our Workplace Wellness Management Leadership survey.
Participation is the issue, said one corporate human resources director, because “most people are too busy or not motivated enough.”
Employee participation in an organization’s wellness program drives everything for wellness professionals, return on investment (ROI), healthier workforce, continued program funding and budget issues, and how a wellness manager is measured, so its a bottom line pocket-book issue.
Main concern: “Time crunch, employees can’t seem to find the time to get into the onsite fitness center,” said a company RN/fitness coordinator. “People in general just seem to be getting busier and busier!”
“It is just our lifestyles today as well as the mentality of employers — do more with less people,” the coordinator added.
Likewise, a corporate training program coordinator’s issue is with “how to develop sustainable programs that incent continued participation and needed results.”
Secrets to Wellness and Health Promotion ROI: How Successful Managers Attract and Motivate Increased Participation in PDF Format
“Our company currently engages employees in wellness opportunities” the coordinator said. “However, each of the opportunities is utilized within a specific time frame with gaps in timing and a disconnect to continued health initiatives.”
“Unless people participate we have less impact,” observed a hospital director of wellness services. “People cite time, money and disinterest as reasons to not participate.”
“Participation is always a challenge because it relates to budget,” according to a hospital program coordinator. “If there is no participation there are no results.”
A hospital supervisor of community education and wellness, said motivating employees to participate in high-risk intervention programs is an issue. “I think the companies feel the need to implement programs but the employees must want to make changes.”
To continue programming, “we need to show success,” she added. “Success will happen if we can get employees to participate and complete intervention activities.”
Related to the employee participation issue is reaching certain categories of employees. For example, reaching low-wage earners is a concern said a survey respondent. “The low-wage earners are the people that drive healthcare costs and, unfortunately, are in the poorest health while receiving the poorest care.”
Also, reaching employees on all three shifts and part-timers is the same issue. “In order for employees to believe that you have a good program, you must show them that you are trying to provide for everyone,” according to a hospital-based community wellness assistant.
Likewise, serving employees located state-wide is tough because it’s “almost impossible to offer the same thing at all locations due to shift work and lack of location,” noted a utility company benefits generalist.
Participation and motivating employees are connected. “If members are motivated, it solves all of the other problems of costs and outcomes,” said
the CEO of a wellness services company.
Source: Workplace Wellness Management Leadership Survey, Wellness Management Information Center