Article: Factors that influence the success of a corporate wellness program

Corporate Wellness Programs

Factors that influence the success of a corporate wellness program

Healthy employees make a healthy business. Let’s look at the factors HR leaders can consider while designing a successful corporate wellness program.
Factors that influence the success of a corporate wellness program

The jury is still out about the validity of a corporate wellness program. Some even call it a fad and often debate whether it is worth spending resources on. While there are others who reject it right away if they don’t see immediate and direct business results.

But if truth be told, it is unrealistic to expect corporate wellness programs to become an instant success. It is crucial to approach wellness programs as a long-term strategy instead of a spot-fixing remedy.

Let’s learn about the factors that HR and business leaders keep in mind when they design and implement wellness programs in their respective companies.

A holistic approach

Wellness programs don’t have to focus singularly on physical well-being. Consider psychological, financial and social health as well. Once employees discover the value and impact of physical and mental well-being not only on their work but also in their personal lives, they are more likely to get more invested.

For their social well-being, you can organise team outings, potlucks, milestone celebrations etc. When it comes to financial health, you can give them financial aid (tuition fee) or for the soon-to-retire employees you can give lessons on post retirement fund management. As far as emotional well-being is concerned, you can introduce meditation, yoga and stress management programs.

The overall idea is to keep the program relevant to their current life situation. The organizational leadership must take a look at corporate wellness programs through a wide-angle lens understanding the life-cycle of their various employees.

Trigger intrinsic motivation

But we can always motivate them with prizes, you say? Sure, you can, but it’s the intrinsic motivation that is a total game changer.

Back in 1949, Harry Harlow and his colleagues set out to study primate behaviour. They got some monkeys to solve a puzzle and expected that they wouldn’t show any interest. To their surprise, they saw them get busy solving the puzzle and that too without any ‘incentive’ in return. The scientific community obviously questioned their assumptions and thought it was ridiculous to say that humans too could be motivated without worrying about receiving any incentive.

Then about two decades after Harlow’s study, Edward Deci conducted an experiment and concluded that it is intrinsic motivation that keeps people ‘interested’ in whatever they do.

Ideally, your job as an HR leader, is to make employees more ‘intrinsically’ motivated. Reiterate the benefits in the long-run so that they see beyond rewards and money and appreciate the value of meeting their wellness goals.

Hear out your employees

Let’s assume you want to organise Zumba classes because you think it’s the right way forward. You roll out program details and expect registrations by droves. To your surprise, there are only a few takers. Any guesses why? For starters, you didn’t involve them in the decision-making stage so their reluctance to join a new activity is a natural aspect of human nature which doesn’t take too well to sudden change.

A fine way out of this situation is to conduct a survey or a poll. It’s a way to show your employees that you value their opinion and acknowledge their needs. Moreover, make sure your program is creative enough and in sync with the latest trends and demands of your employees.

Decide metrics of success

Evaluating the programs is equally critical because you will know what’s working and where you can do better. Some of the tangible benefits to measure include: reduced medical expenses and low absenteeism. The other parameters to gauge a program’s success are talent attraction and attrition rate.

Wrapping it up

A health-conscious attitude is essential in this era where digitization of the workforce is making most jobs sedentary. Physical health, emotional well-being and social involvement are personal aspects of an employee’s life. However, these are the factors that seep into their behaviour at work in turn impacting their performance. It is precisely why it is essential to involve employees into the decision-making process before investing in a comprehensive corporate wellness program.

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs, #GlobalPerspective

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