The bad news, your wellness plan is broken. The good news, you can fix it.
Wellness programs have been growing in popularity, and are now a staple in most workplaces. Businesses have increasingly looked to a wellness plan to slow the steady rise in healthcare costs.
In a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 75 percent of companies had a wellness program. Despite the popularity of these plans, there is still a significant discrepancy when it comes to engagement.
According to a Gallup survey, participation in wellness programs was around 24 percent in 2014. The less engagement there is, the less effective your wellness plan will be. Here are five tips to fix your wellness plan.
1. Use Technology
Technology allows your company to engage employees in the wellness plan better, and get valuable data in the process. A popular technology for wellness programs is wearable fitness trackers.
These fitness trackers give employees a visual reminder to be healthy, give them valuable personal data about their health, and gives the company data that can be used to monitor the wellness plan’s overall effectiveness.
Virtual reality, gamification, and mobile technology have created more options for companies looking to improve engagement in their wellness program.
An example Employee Benefit Advisor uses is, give employees a self-assessment tool that will quiz and then guide them to educational resources to meet their specific health and wellness needs. This type of tool engages employees in the process and personalizes the experience for everyone.
Technology makes your wellness program more fun, easier to use, and allows for increased focus. Integrate technology into your program to maximize employee engagement.
2. Improve Communication
Another way to improve your wellness plan is better communication. They say that communication saves relations, but they never mention that it also saves wellness programs.
Educating your employees on their benefits is crucial to the success of your wellness plan. Your company has to inform employees on why being healthy is so important, what your wellness program will provide, and how their involvement is imperative.
MetLife’s Employee Benefits Trends Study discovered that employees are most interested in one-on-one communications to help them understand their benefits. The second most popular option was through a mobile app.
Use this knowledge to advance your wellness plan communications. Your HR team or benefits consultant can hold one-on-one meetings with your employees.
You can also use new HR apps and technology. Your company can reach more of your staff, more quickly, through the use of this mobile technology.
3. Set Specific Goals
A critical part of any successful wellness program is the setting of attainable and specific goals. If your program has no goals set, there will be no way to tell whether it is successful or not.
Make sure that each staff member has different goals that are unique to their wellness. Applying broad goals to all your employees does nothing to drive engagement. A personalized set of goals is more applicable and will serve as greater motivation.
Mobile technology, including fitness trackers and apps, are a terrific way to measure goals. The ability to measure and track goals anywhere you go also improves engagement in the process.
Personalize goals for each individual staff member. Specific goals motivate employees much better than generic group goals.
Rewards have been a method for obtaining engagement since the beginning of time. It is no different for wellness plans. You can use the proper rewards to immerse your employees in your wellness program.
The trick here is choosing the right reward. As an employer, it is your job to understand what your employees want, what motivates them. It is important to keep in mind that your rewards can, and should be different for different groups of employees.
Rewards that motivate one work group will have a negligible effect on another. Similarly, a reward that motivates your employees one year, may be something they shrug off the next.
Do your employees want more work-life balance? Make an extra day of PTO your reward. Your staff prefers recognition? Give awards and company swag as rewards.
Remember no matter what you choose, try to make your wellness rewards healthy. An extra day of PTO, a free massage, a gift card to a health foods store. All of these are examples of rewards that promote a healthy body or mind.
5. Financial Wellness
An integral part of wellness and one that is often neglected is employee financial wellness. Financial wellness is a state of well-being where an individual has achieved minimal financial stress, established a strong financial foundation, and created a plan to reach financial goals.
A strong foundation is essential when looking to improve financial wellness. This foundation comes from having the right set of knowledge and tools to promote your financial well-being.
Educate your employees on being better healthcare consumers. Medical expenses rise every year. Being an educated and informed health care consumer allows your employees to lower the amount they spend on healthcare, and the amount your company spends too.
Create a customized training curriculum for each employee. Tailor each employee’s financial education to their individual needs. This customization will improve learning as the information will be more relevant.
Education should include being an informed healthcare consumer, and other essential financial information such as how to take out a loan, how to improve your credit score, etc. This type of basic financial information is critical to developing financial wellness.
Money can cause a great deal of stress. According to Financial Finesse, six out of ten employees lose sleep over their financial situations. Improved financial wellness results in improved overall wellness.
If you’re not getting the return, you expected out of your wellness program, look at the plan’s engagement levels. To get most from your wellness plan engage your employees with these five steps.
Your wellness plan can ensure that your employees aren’t just doing good; they’re doing well.