Having the best programming and interventions in the world won’t matter if employees don’t participate in the program, right?
Here are five common reasons why employees don’t participate:
Reason #1: Failure to Leverage Worksite Champions
Chances are good that you have a core group of participants who use each of your program’s services. These folks are your natural program champions, even if they are not organized into a formal worksite wellness program champion network. If you are not yet capitalizing on these key natural champions, you are squandering an important resource.
There is no question that the personal connection can be a huge motivator or “nudge” factor. Word of mouth marketing and promotion can’t be beat when it comes to both existing programming or trying something new.
Consider using the following strategies for tapping into your natural champions:
• Ask these champions for testimonials (written, verbal, or video)
• Reach out to the champions and ask them to specifically invite a co-worker to join them in an upcoming event or activity
• Build a refer a friend or co-worker strategy into your next event or activity launch. Recognize all who refer someone.
Reason #2: Remaining In Your Silo
Wellness is a holistic, multi-dimensional concept/construct. But your wellness program can’t do it all. Link the wellness program with all the other employee benefits and services offered in the workplace. Maximize your use of the resources available through the other benefits and services.
Playing well with other programs and services better serves both employees and the employer. Look for ways you can cross promote other services/benefits and their core messages. Create a cross-referral program.
Reason #3: Not Meeting Employee Needs, Wants, Interests, or Desires
You need to know what employee needs, interests, and expectations are. You can survey employees, use focus groups, or laser focused corridor conversations to obtain employee input.
Remember that wellness is about more than employee health. Be sure to inquire about all the dimensions of wellness and not just physical health.
Reason #4: You Are Overlooking Volunteers
As a resource for your program, use volunteers to supplement staff resources. While employees may not be interested in making a long-term volunteer commitment such as serving on the wellness committee or as a wellness champion, many may be willing to volunteer for a one-time event, activity or task. When asking someone to volunteer, have a specific task in mind for them to complete. Be sure to fully explain it to them. Many small activities or initiatives can be completely led by volunteers, freeing up staff time for bigger projects or initiatives.
Reason #5: You Don’t Know What Is Working
Far too many worksite wellness programs today do not monitor, measure, or evaluate what they do. How can you continually improve your program if you don’t know what is working and what is not? You can also better manage what you measure.
Addressing these five reasons will go a long way towards elevating what you offer and evolving your program over time to a great program.