Year after year research shows the number of companies adopting workplace wellness benefits continues to rise. Unfortunately, not all corporate wellness programs are successful, despite how promising the results can be for an organization. Learn just why corporate wellness programs fail and how to make yours succeed.

What’s the differentiator between those that are successful and those that fail? A Forbes article touched on the underlying attitude that contributes to failure, “Many…programs are punitive, so they feel like something done to employees rather than for them.

Even the most positive of these programs are often superficial — they don’t elevate company culture, inspire commitment, or tie to business goals. Any program that alienates, annoys, and distracts those it means to serve will fail to deliver results in the long term.” The following four factors can result in this kind of wellness failure in an organization.

Not supported from the top down

If your wellness programs are created, executed and managed within a single department such as HR, getting buy-in and engagement across the organization may be difficult. Instead, wellness needs to be a priority amongst the highest levels of leadership in partnership with HR. When the leaders of the organization are concerned, interested and invested, they will have greater motivation to ensure the programs offered are conducive to the company and its culture. Also, with leadership on board and leveraging the program themselves, there’ll be greater interest and desire created throughout the rest of the organization. Wellness needs to be more than a line item in the financials; leaders who are passionate about the kind of benefits provided will make it a personal priority to offer relevant, beneficial and rewarding programs for everyone in the company — including the C-suite.

Options aren’t aligned with employee needs

As wellness programs are created, it can be easy for leadership to opt for a more “one-size-fits-all” approach to benefits. The problem is, each workplace, industry, demographic, etc. is so unique. Ideally, wellness programs that are put in place will be a complementary aspect of the company’s culture.

Forbes says, “According to Virgin Pulse’s fourth-annual State of the Industry survey of over 1,000 HR leaders, workplace culture is the biggest roadblock to improving employee well-being and engagement. One reason for this could be because companies focus on wellness initiatives that don’t complement their current workplace culture.” If you provide a wellness program that is geared toward a demographic that represents a minority of your workforce, your overall engagement will suffer. There’s no one right answer to corporate wellness programs, instead programs need to be tailored to meet the immediate needs and desires of your culture.

Lack of flexibility or variety

Perhaps you’ve determined a type of wellness program that should theoretically meet the needs of your workforce, but you’re still struggling to gain traction with employees. Several factors could be at play. If programs are too rigid in what, when and where they are offered, this can be discouraging, overwhelming or just not worth it to individuals

Health and wellness initiatives are extremely personal in nature and therefore, require flexibility to meet varying schedules, abilities and needs. While you can’t provide the perfect solution for every person, providing options and flexibility within the programs you do offer is possible and needed for maximum engagement.

Programs aren’t clearly understood

Communication and awareness are key for the successful implementation and adoption of your corporate wellness program. It’s possible that during the on-boarding process some of the benefits were discussed, but in what kind of detail? It’s possible that company-wide there’s simply a lack of understanding around what is offered, how to take advantage of it and why it is a benefit that should be enjoyed.

With so many distractions, deadlines and competing work priorities in front of employees each day, it’s important to integrate new and innovative ways of getting the messages out and heard. Highlight the benefits and how to get involved using multiple mediums such as social media, newsletters, onsite information booths, websites, physical collateral, etc. In addition to adequate communication, make sure there are individuals on staff that are well-versed in the details to answer questions and provide clear direction on the programs provided.

Successful wellness programs are achievable. Provide a successful corporate wellness program by integrating ClassPass Corporate into your initiative.

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