June 4, 2021

How to Maximize Workplace Wellness Engagement

Man at desk holding a book

Increasing employee retention rates, creating a better workplace culture, and increasing employee productivity are just some of the reasons why employers are putting wellness programs into place at work. However, emerging trends in how employees work and what employees expect from their workplace mean that some wellness programs aren’t seeing the same levels of engagement that they did in the past. 

With the shift to work-from-home employment and new attitudes towards wellness brought about by younger generations of workers, approaches to workplace wellness will need to change in order to maintain high levels of participation in the programs put in place. Here are some reasons why your current workplace wellness program may be experiencing low levels of engagement, and what you can do to turn the situation around. 

1. Get Employee Buy-In

One of the reasons why employees may be underutilizing your company’s workplace wellness program is that they grossly underestimate the value of the program. Around 64% of employees underestimate the rewards and incentives offered by the wellness programs available at their workplace. To circumvent this, employers need to get employee buy-in.

One way to do so is by educating employees on the importance of workplace wellness, and how the programs in place target major health issues faced by employees. For example, the most recent data from Health Canada shows that 2.4 million Canadians aged 20 years or older suffer from frequent chest pain and cardiovascular discomfort. By educating employees on the risks of cardiovascular diseases, and showing how active engagement with your corporate wellness program can mitigate these risks, you can reduce the chances of your workforce developing cardiovascular diseases by 25%. 

2. Use Data to Your Advantage

In today’s world, data is key to decision making, at all levels of an organization. This is no different for your employees when it comes to tracking their fitness data, and it shows in the growing, widespread adoption of activity tracking devices and wearables. In fact, around 62% of employees are interested in wearing a fitness tracker if it were to be a part of their company’s wellness program. 

The data collected from wearables can be used by both employers to gamify their wellness program and increase engagement in said program. By allowing employees to easily and seamlessly share their fitness data with each other, employees are able to compare how they’re doing against other employees in a little friendly competition, which can drive employees to go over and above their wellness goals. 

3. Lead by Example

Modelling active and continued engagement with your company’s wellness program is the best way to motivate your employees to take part. Not only will you directly reap the health benefits of the program, but your employees will too, and that eventually leads to a healthier bottom line. Unhealthy workers are estimated to cost a company twice as much as an employee who is in good health due to revenue lost as employees take time off to recover from illness, not to mention insurance costs related to these illnesses. 

Leading by example also allows you to create a workplace culture that places emphasis on the overall health of your employees, helping you to increase employee retention rates. Around 45% of employees in small to medium-sized businesses stay at their jobs longer as a direct result of the wellness programs in place at work. 

Help Employees Be the Best Version of Themselves

Employee buy-in, the use of data, and leading by example are all just some of the ways that you can drive employee engagement with your workplace wellness program. When you invest in your employee’s wellness, you’re receiving more than just financial benefits in return; you’re creating employees that will be ambassadors for your company. If you’re ready to implement a wellness program that your employees will actively engage in, contact the team at Sprout. 

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