participants doing yoga as corporate wellness benefit

How to Get Employees to Participate in Wellness Programs?

Listen up children because this is very important: you can create the best wellness program ever, but if you can’t get your employees to join it will all be in vain.

Being based in Los Angeles we’re obviously quite partial to these sorts of programs. I mean, it’s beautiful all year around, the beach is right here, and there’s a massive push towards healthy living be it through exercise like yoga or fitness, through meditation, or through other means. So it makes sense that companies offer more and more benefit programs to engage employees through these wellness solutions.

Yet with this also comes an understanding that with these programs you’re in effect also competing for your employees’ time – participating in your company’s wellness program shouldn’t be a chore that takes up time, it should be a pleasure that you volunteer for and that benefits you in some way. So today we’re going to explore how to get those engagement levels up to keep your employees happy and healthy through YOUR offering.

  • Communicate effectively: The cornerstone to every successful relationship! The most important thing you need to do is make sure that your employees actually know about your program, how to access it, and of course why it’s beneficial to them. The best way to keep your benefits program top of mind is to create short low touch recurring communication channels. This could take the form of a weekly newsletter, company announcements, team leaders, or organized group events once in a while. The one thing to keep in mind is that communication is a two way street so don’t hesitate to ask your employees for feedback and get them involved in the program directly as well.
  • Social proof: What better way to get people to participate in an activity than telling them that all of their friends and colleagues are already participating in it? Social proof works. Make sure your employees know who else is joining in the program and how they are benefiting from it. Share stories about them or post pictures of your employees participating in your wellness program on the company billboard to get that social buy-in going.
  • Offer flexibility and choice: You may be surprised to find out that not all of your employees have the same needs – yes they are all different an unique individuals and therefore both the activities they want to participate in and the benefits they will get from your program can differ greatly. So it’s important to give them choice. Not all programs are built the same either so pick wisely! Luckily Lyvly Plus (our wellness package) offers a huge variety of activities – actually the same that we offer through Lyvly just with amazing rates for wellness subscriptions. Making sure that you’re covering everyone in the office will do wonders in increasing your participation rates.
  • Keep things simple: The old adage “beauty lies in simplicity” couldn’t be more true when it comes to your corporate wellness program. Participation in the program must be simple and seamless so that it becomes second nature for your employees to find and benefit from exactly what they are looking for. But simplicity isn’t just limited to the design of the program but all the other aspects of it, booking activities, communicating, understanding how it works, getting help and support, etc… by keeping things simple you’ll be doing yourself and your employees a big favor.
  • Make it interesting: Just like gamification has done wonders to engage seemingly boring and repetitive tasks by offering psychological or physical incentive to complete tasks, so too can intelligent motivations be used to promote wellness at the core of your organization. Whether it’s creating financial incentives to have gym memberships, creating mandatory breaks during the day, or organizing group activities (possibly of a friendly competitive nature), there are a number of options available to make participating in your program a fun and interesting endeavor.
  • Bring it to the office: Of course the ultimate incentive is to offer participation as an alternative to real work. Which desk worker would pass on taking an hour away from their daily tasks to participate in an office meditation activity if it’s encouraged by the people they work for? Offering in-office activities is a fantastic way to bring employees together, create buy-in for your program at a core cultural level, while providing a service of true value that has actually been proven to improve productivity and satisfaction at the workplace.
  • Trackable and measurable: Finally being able to understand how your employees are using these programs – while not essential for justifying having it – is useful to help generate participation. If you have a measure of benefits that your wellness program brings to those employees that participate in it on a regular basis you will better be able to convince more people to participate as well as have a good idea internally of the overall benefit it is bringing your company.

Don’t forget that while the methods and suggestions above are obviously useful and beneficial in many ways they are by no means exhaustive and the best way to engage employees around a corporate wellness program is to tailor it to your own strengths as a company.