Wellness Program? Got it!
Employee Participation – Not So Much…
if you’re like 63% of all employers, the most common corporate wellness challenge is employee engagement
You’ve put a lot of effort, time and money into offering a wellness program. But if you’re like 63% of all employers, the most common corporate wellness challenge is employee engagement, according to Healthiest Employers1. In fact, RAND2 finds on average only half of eligible employees participate in health risk assessments like biometric screenings and fewer than 20% of eligible employees participate in subsequent health interventions.
Just imagine. If the vast majority of your employees engage in a healthy lifestyle, your health benefits become mostly about prevention and maintenance. Your health care costs become another manageable business expense.
So what went wrong? Ownership, investment. YOU own the wellness program because you created it and your COMPANY invested in it – but what about your employees?
Move from Top-Down to Employee-Driven Wellness Programs.
All the scuttle about the new Affordable Care Act and Consumer-Driven Health Care provides the perfect opportunity to not only hand the reins over to your employees with THEIR benefit decisions, but also in designing THEIR wellness program.
How can you reconfigure your existing wellness program to allow employees to personalize the activities to meet their individual priorities?
...people tend toward activities that increase their feelings of personal fulfillment, empowerment and self-actualization...
The science of motivation offers up some helpful clues. Research into cognitive evaluation theory (CET) and self-determination theory (SDT), models first constructed by Dr. Edward Deci and Dr. Richard Ryan at the University of Rochester3,sheds light on what motivates employees to make lifestyle changes that they can sustain.
Deci and Ryan found motivation to be the result of basic and universal socio-psychological needs:
From the CET/SDT perspective, people tend toward activities that increase their feelings of personal fulfillment, empowerment and self-actualization, rather than being passive or reactive, or simply products of their environment. They will exert effort to learn and develop these rewarding activities. Each person’s engagement reasons may be intrinsic – self-satisfying – or extrinsic – receiving recognition, and that recognition can be tangible—a payment—or intangible—a compliment.
Successful corporate wellness programs enable a self-renewing cycle of increasingly deeper employee engagement by carefully selecting tools that empower employees to meet their personal motivational needs.
Examples of effective tools include 3:
Effective Tool Characteristics 3:
Which tools are best for your employees? Ask! Starting this conversation with your employees is the first step in moving towards an employee-driven wellness initiative – and their full engagement, helping you realize the health care cost containment you seek.
1 Healthiest Employers, “How To Become A Healthiest Employer,” HR.com, March 2012.
2 RAND, “Review of the U.S. Workplace Wellness Market,” 2012.
3 Employee Benefit News “Employee Engagement: The New Currency of Wellness,” Hubbub White Paper, 2013
Rylan Klaseen & Associates
Rylan Klaseen & Associates
Serving Southern California: