You know your corporate wellness program is ticking the right boxes for your employees when it improves their health, cuts absenteeism, and maybe even improves productivity. If you have a winner on your hands, it could even reduce attrition!
Unfortunately, as one Assocham report revealed, 62% of employees whose organizations had wellness programs felt their firm’s wellness program could do with a makeover. So why are the best-laid plans failing in India Inc.?
Here are 10 cardinal sins that can make even well-intentioned programs go from hero to zero.
1. Picking A “Free Size” Wellness Program.
You wouldn’t shop for “free size” clothes, so why let your wellness program be a one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf solution? You are likely to see poor uptake if your wellness program is not relevant to the workforce. Worse, it will allow the real issues to fester and go under the radar.
2. Random Bursts of Enthusiasm.
When someone is consistently high energy, you assume it’s their nature and don’t bat an eyelid if they are perky. But if an otherwise quiet person suddenly bursts into song, you might think they’ve gone cuckoo. You can’t afford to let employees think the same of your wellness initiatives.
The message and actions have to be consistent, steady, progressive, and ongoing. Anything else is just plain jarring. Instead of that one random “Fitness week” or annual company “Run for fitness,” have ongoing weekly fitness classes, activities, and events.
3. Being The Fitness Police!
You are there as an enabler for fitness, not to haul up and punish those who don’t play along. And while you might wield the tools and instruments to make participation mandatory or penalize anyone who doesn’t toe the line, disciplining non-participants is a recipe for disaster!
4. Counting On the Intranet – Too Much!
Relying on the intranet or newsletters to spread the word about the program is fine but it shouldn’t be the only way you communicate.
Posting an important wellness message only on the intranet may not guarantee readership. Reinforce it offline via bulletin boards, posters, handouts, messages in the canteen or pop-up messages on login screens of computers.
5. Expecting Employees To Go The Extra Mile.
Manual inputs from possibly already stretched employees is a pipe dream. No one other than the really motivated will do it.
Have an automated system for data verification instead of expecting employees to log in to a portal or type in their data at some specific location. Wearable trackers, for instance, can help with this. Your IT department might find a way to sync and automate the data collation for things like team step challenges.
6. Going Into Dictator Mode.
Nothing kills a wellness program like forced participation. It might even backfire and make people resentful of the company.
Just as problematic is taking charge of goal setting for employees instead of letting them pick their own health goals. When they have yet another target set by the firm to chase, their motivation is likely to wane. Those monthly performance reviews are stressful enough!
7. (Unwittingly) Adding Hurdles To Signing Up.
A tedious sign-up is certainly not your goal. But you might unwittingly complicate things by not clearly communicating how to enroll. For instance, an employee might read about a great healthy food delivery service at the cafeteria, but may not remember how to sign up later at their desk.
This information can be made available on the poster itself and at a single touchpoint that all employees are aware – for instance, a specific person who’s your wellness champion or at a help-desk number that’s been widely shared.
Signing up should also be as simple as sharing an email id/employee number and not filling out dozens of details on a form at the get-go.
8. Not Fixing The Hardware.
While you work on an employee’s attitude to health through a wellness program, you can’t ignore the quality of the workplace. From green spaces and areas to walk during breaks to standing desks or healthy food at the cafeteria, offer constructive options.
9. Leaving The Fs Out.
Friends and Family are 2 Fs that are often overlooked in wellness and fitness. Roping in fitness buddies can help employees stay on track better. Involving families can make healthy eating a lifestyle change rather than a solo effort that makes things difficult for their home team.
10. Much Ado About Nothing.
Wellness program uptake isn’t the only metric you should have your eye on. Is the program making a real difference to your employees’ health? Otherwise, a company where 80% employees signed up for health checks could dub their program a roaring success – even if most people are still as badly off a year down the line.
You’ll have to check if the employees did the follow-up checks. You’d want to see if their lifestyle changes had an impact on their health metrics. Otherwise it means nothing.
Bonus Tip! Get help and outsource some parts of the program to simplify things for your own team. Tap into the technology and smarts service partners like healthi offer. For instance, we’ll ensure your program is relevant to your workforce by conducting pre-rollout surveys, drive engagement via our easy-to-use dashboard, and simplify healthcare with our tools and reader-friendly information on all things health.
Now that you know what to avoid, here’s a toolkit of 6 Smart Strategies to Ensure Your Corporate Wellness Program Is A Winner!