5 Ways to End Low Participation Frustration

In a recent The Business Journals article, author Dana Manciagli laments a familiar disappointment that many companies find when launching a wellness or wellbeing program for their employees – a disappointment that 52 percent of employers polled in The State of Workplace Wellbeing survey agree is the biggest challenge.

What is the frustration?

Low participation.

“The situation is disheartening and frustrating,” Manciagli says. “After all, you built the program to help your employees improve their well-being. Low participation stems from many factors including lack of time, a lack of relevance, a lack of priority, or a lack of simplicity.”

That said, while the average wellness/wellbeing program reports just a 21 percent participation rate, companies offering our Move module to their employees see an average participation rate of 85 percent.

What sets Move apart? To find out, keep reading as we compare Move’s benefits and features with a few of Manciagli’s tips for “pumping up participation in your wellness program.”

1. Don’t just focus on wellness
A program that focuses solely on steps taken or minutes active misses out on the opportunity to help employees with their overall health and wellbeing. After all, not every person’s goals (like hitting 10,000 steps per day) are the same.

Move pairs with two other integrated modules that give employees the opportunity to set their own goals and integrate the physical activity challenge portion of the wellness program into many different areas of their overall wellbeing.

2. Give employees time
Wellbeing programs that look like an additional task will probably be frowned upon by employees. In her article, Manciagli recommends encouraging activities like walking meetings and “stress-relief breaks” during the workday to help employees meet their wellness program goals while they’re at the office.

When you utilize Move for your wellness program, you’re paired with a Customer Success Representative – a person who, in addition to helping your wellness program be the best it can be, acts as a toolbox full of ideas for challenges, workday programs and more.

3. Use technology
“Tech-based programs easily integrate wearable trackers, connect to other human resources programs, use game technology to keep people coming back, and build community with social elements,” Manciagli said.

The technology aspect is where Move really flourishes. In addition to working with more than 40 activity trackers and mobile apps (including our own low-cost Movband device), Move’s online Dashboard is a true hub of activity.

The Dashboard is a quick reference for participants to view their spot on the leaderboard, offer advice or throw a friendly jab at co-workers while competing in an activity challenge, or click to see their competitors on social media. Move’s Dashboard also pairs easily with the data and analytics programs offered by DHS Group to form a real health and wellness personal hub.

4. Reward employees positively
According to The State of Workplace Well-being Survey that Manciagli quotes, “68 percent of employers said they use incentives for participation and 65 percent see them as the most important factor to a successful wellness program.”

Remember those Customer Success Reps mentioned earlier who are ready to help come up with creative ideas for your wellness program? Those same people are able to help you with ideas for rewards and recognition. As an example, one Move customer recently worked with our team to build a “12 Days of Christmas” themed challenge as part of their wellness program that rewarded a different employee each day for achieving a specified part of the challenge.

5. Make wellbeing a priority
Success in many areas of business comes from the top down and wellness is no different.

“Leadership involvement was cited as the most effective factor for a successful wellness program,” Manciagli said.

Putting a wellness program, like Move, into place is a clear step in the right direction from leadership and can even help with recruiting and retention. Next steps offered by Move include integrating additional health and wellness tools and even combining employee wellness programs with nonprofits to raise money to fund their cause – the more leadership can get involved and showcase their excitement and support, the better.