4 ways to know if your wellness program has lost the fun factor

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of offering a wellness program and forget that your employees are your end user.  We all tend to look through a singular lens when developing programs for employees.  Here are four questions to ask yourself when considering if employees are and will continue to engage

What’s the overall tone of your wellness programs?  It’s important to establish your health and wellness philosophy and the culture of your company should be reflected in this approach. If you are looking to establish trust, loyalty and a positive health culture, then make sure you set markers to accomplish that. If you want to take more of a tough love response, don’t be surprised if you get pushback and be prepared to respond.  You can shift your approach over time but give employees time to wrap their head around the change in tone.

If an employee left your company today what would they say about your approach to their health and wellness?   Let’s face it, not only do employees talk when they leave a company but they may also use social media if they are unhappy with their company.  Sites like Glass Door let employees rate their employees without being identified.  After we helped a client expand their wellness program, they found that their former employee gave the wellness program a positive shout out. The person viewed the wellness expansion as the company’s investment in their employees and was thankful.   Want to know what your employees are thinking?  Ask them if they would recommend the wellness program to a co-worker.  Just like in business, a positive word of mouth can build the brand of your wellness program.

Do you want to participate in your wellness program? If you don’t find any of your programs interesting, don’t expect your employees to. I have been in several meetings where the decision makers were in disbelief that a person wouldn’t enroll in a wellness program. We found out later that the same person making these comments literally declined or opted out of the very same program. If you’re not going to participate, don’t be surprised when your employees don’t either.

Does your wellness program inspire behavior change? There are some people that subscribe to the “a wellness program isn’t for people like me” mentality.  In fact, a recent survey by HealthMine, found that healthy employees don’t think wellness plans are worth participating in. This sentiment was echoed in a client’s wellness committee meeting, where one member said the wellness program wasn’t for people like them but rather to help the poor schleps who were unhealthy (not his words but my interpretation).  A well crafted wellness program can help “healthy” people in many ways.  Just because you are physically fit doesn’t mean there aren’t other dimension of health to address.  Read my post on addressing other dimension of wellness here.

I hope these questions offer a “gut check” to see if your approach to employee health and wellness has lost its fun factor. You may be surprised with what you’ll find!