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Good Health Just Is Not Enough

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While most people would list good health as one of their top priorities in life, few behave that way. Case in point…a recent survey conducted by a major HR consulting firm showed the following results:

  • Over 30% of companies that offer health risk appraisals report more than 50% participation—yet one-quarter report participation levels of 10% or less.
  • While 16% of employers surveyed say 50% of employees participated in biometric screenings, nearly an equal percentage report participation rates of 5% or less.
  • Participation rates in weight management programs remain quite low.
  • Few employees use health coaching services or participate in a smoking cessation program when they are offered.

So how do you get employees to do something good for them, that they actually believe will help them, but just can’t seem to get going?

Here are a few ideas to get employees’ attention and participation in your wellness program:

Make sure they know about it!

As hard as it is to believe, many employees are not even aware that they have access to a wellness program at work. Ongoing promotion is critical to building awareness.

Know what your employees want and need.

Any successful communication process is two-way. Get employee input on areas of health care interest and concerns. Get their ideas for promoting the program. Involve them as program sponsors. Consider focus groups, surveys, wellness committees and other forms of engagement.

Keep it simple and make it easy.

Communicate the key elements of the program: What employees (and spouses/domestic partners) need to do, when and how to do it, and what they’ll receive when they do it. Make it heavy on graphics and light on words. Give them quick, direct, on-demand access to the program and activities.

Be creative.

Here’s where your employees can really help. Get a group together to brainstorm inventive ways to promote not just the program, but wellness in general. It’s okay to have differences by location or work group.

For more ideas and insights, check out this article from workspan, the magazine of WorldatWork©