Employee wellness programs have been proven to benefit both the employee and employer. The participants enjoy incentives and perks for getting healthy, but many companies struggle with getting good participation numbers and don’t know why. Here are a few possible reasons for hesitation.
- Employees think the employer is trying to use their health information against them, or their job will be in jeopardy if an illness comes to light.
- Employees don’t trust that their insurance companies won’t change their premiums if they aren’t in great health
- Some people already lead a healthy lifestyle and just don’t need to participate
- Others know they aren’t healthy, but don’t want to do anything about it. For example, smokers know it isn’t good for them, but continue to smoke.
- Mixed messages discourage people from participating – keeping junk in the vending machines or not offering employee discounts at local gyms discourages participation.
- If the leaders of the company aren’t participating, then why would the employees? Leading by example goes a long way with employee wellness programs.
It would be wise to address each of these issues at the onset of the program, so that people who have doubts can receive all of the information before deciding if they want to participate. Highlighting the perks, and making sure that they know that they can benefit even more than the company, will make them feel more encouraged to participate.