Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

4 ways to encourage increased participation in employee wellness programs

Just about every company these days that has the resources to run an employee assistance and wellness program is doing so. These days, the benefits are too significant to overlook. Businesses that invest in the wellness of their employees are able to build teams that are more engaged, more productive and ultimately contribute more to the company’s bottom line.

For this reason, every company that invests in wellness – whether it’s something small, like putting out a couple of healthy snacks in the break room, or a bigger project like offering a wellness program – should be happy to do so. These initiatives cost money in the short term, but in the long run, they should pay for themselves and then some.

There’s only one problem – for a wellness program to be successful at any place of business, it first needs to have staff members on board. The next step for corporate wellness leaders is to encourage employees to participate. Doing so could be the key to preventing problems like a disengaged, unmotivated workforce.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, simply offering lots of exciting wellness perks sometimes isn’t enough. Lorna Borenstein, founder and CEO of, notes that some employees need more encouragement if they’re going to embrace wellness initiatives. It’s not just about perks – you also need to make cultural changes to make wellness more accepted as a staff-wide priority.

“Your employee wellness program probably includes all the latest bells and whistles – flu shots, health fairs, an on-site fitness center and maybe even team challenges with company-issued FitBits the boss is very proud of,” Borenstein explained. “Yet something is still missing – and that something is employee participation.”

With that in mind, the following are four strategies that might help get employees more involved with wellness.

Helping employees with time management
One of the main reasons people don’t exercise more is they can’t find the time. An effective strategy for getting employees to focus on fitness is to help them find a free few minutes in their day to exercise.

Providing the right wellness resources
Another problem is a lack of resources. What if employees want to work out more, but they don’t have the equipment? Or they need coaches to keep them on track? If your company invests in wellness, you can offer more of the resources they need.

Helping people with “gymtimidation”
Simply put, a lot of people are just scared of the gym. Working out can be overwhelming if you haven’t done it much recently (or at all). “A fitness center in a work setting may exacerbate these feelings of anxiety because it’s not strangers surrounding you but colleagues and senior managers,” says Borestein.  

Offering exciting wellness incentives
Finally, people will be more motivated to focus on health and wellness if there’s a little “carrot” incentivizing them to do so. Small prizes and rewards for wellness can be a great positive influence – well worth the investment for any business that cares about employee health.

Download this Ceridian eBook Wellness Incentives – More Carrots, Please! to learn more about increasing wellness program participation.

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