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Why Don’t Employees Participate in Wellness Programs?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 30th, 2015

Employees value wellness programs, but few participate. Understanding why they don’t can offer valuable insight for employers and help advisers hoping to increase engagement.

Seventy percent of employees say wellness is valuable, but just 9% take full advantage of the programs offered by their company, according to new research from GuideSpark, a Menlo Park, CA. HR software company.

nurse wellness program yogaThe most common reasons employees cited for lack of participation included being too busy, the program didn’t fit with their lifestyle, and not being fully aware of what programs were offered.

The type of programs that were important to employees surveyed included stress management, physical fitness, financial wellness, weight management, nutrition, sleep management and tobacco/alcohol cessation.

Proper communication is vital to increasing participation. Sharing information via multiple channels is the best way to reach all employees.

The study found that 63% of employees say they would participate in wellness programs if they were better suited to their lifestyle. Forty-eight percent say they’d participate if they weren’t working so hard, 45% want more incentives, 25% need a better understanding of what’s offered and 25% would join if their friends participated.

Making the program more social helps get younger employees involved. Having management involved also helps increase participation. But the survey found that employers aren’t doing enough when it comes to wellness.

– 46% wish their company provided better wellness benefits

– 38% wish their company would educate them more on all the wellness benefits provided

– 36% say their company doesn’t do enough to drive a culture of wellness

– 30% say their manager doesn’t support balancing work with staying fit

SelfCare for HealthCareis a culture-shifting wellness program that teaches employees to care for their minds, bodies and spirits. Contact me today to discuss what wellness programs you have tried in the past, what’s worked and what hasn’t worked.

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