Do your employees groan and roll their eyes whenever your company announces a new wellness activity? Your wellness program may need a tune-up.
To fix it, determine the reason your employees hold engagement activities in such disdain. Here are 10 likely possibilities:
Your activities are dull.
Only 10% of employers describe their wellness initiatives as “very fun.” Be sure your program isn’t too heavily weighted towards sit-down activities like webinars and sessions with boring guest speakers. Mix things up with opportunities for exercise and social interaction such as teams, challenges, healthy picnics and on-site fitness classes.
They don’t have time for activities.
In the United States, 86% of employed men and 67% of employed women work more than 40 hours a week. Not having enough free time can be a real obstacle to getting fit, especially for employees with long commutes or family obligations.
They resent demands on their time.
Employees may not want to give up their free time for work-related events, even enjoyable ones. Try not to schedule activities after work hours or on the weekend.
They don’t think the company really cares about wellness.
If top management’s not invested in fitness, employees will view the wellness program as mere window dressing and decide that they don’t need to bother with it.
Your wellness activities aren’t a good match for their health concerns.
Employees will simply ignore activities they don’t find relevant or valuable. Tailor your programs to your employee base. Too many purely educational activities will bore workers who are already active, while too many competitive activities may scare off employees who are new to fitness.
They feel guilty about taking time off from work to participate in events.
No one wants to be the only person leaving the office to go to the health fair. That’s why it’s so important for managers to support the employee engagement activities and attend events. When managers participate in the wellness program, they send the message that taking time off from work to improve your health isn’t considered slacking.
They feel uncomfortable about participating.
Employees who are new to fitness or think of themselves as clumsy may be reluctant to exercise alongside more athletic colleagues. Offer no-pressure activities like Zumba, yoga classes or at-home fitness videos to help reluctant employees ease into fitness.
They don’t understand how important fitness is.
A study by the Midwest Business Group showed that 88% of employees don’t understand why preventative health is important. Your employees may need more information about the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition.
They don’t want to give out sensitive health information.
Some employees find health screenings or questionnaires invasive, especially ones that involve blood tests or personal questions about health conditions. They may wonder who’ll have access to their data and what the company will do with it.
They dislike the fact that activities are mandatory.
When employees are required to attend wellness events, they view them as chores and come to resent them, precisely the attitude towards fitness you don’t want to cultivate.