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How do you motivate employees to participate in wellness programs?

For most of us, our job responsibilities are just one of the many priorities we’re juggling. We wear many hats—from taking care of our families and homes to various supporting roles in our communities.

With busy schedules, it may be challenging for your team members to make time for workouts or other wellness activities.

How do you motivate employees to participate in wellness programs?

Your associates need to be educated about the benefits of wellness, as well as feel encouraged and rewarded. Consider these motivational approaches for your wellness program strategies.

  1. Education

    Launch your corporate wellness program with a series of welcome sessions to provide a step-by-step description of the program and to show your associates how to access the health and well-being resources. Illustrate the advantages of the initiative with success stories that allow your associates to see themselves creating healthier habits and overcoming chronic conditions.

    Helping your teams define health goals has proven to be extremely motivational for Go365 members. Beginning with a Health Assessment and a biometric screening, Go365 members establish a baseline to kick-start their well-being journey. For example, members with an out-of-range body mass index (BMI) may get a recommendation to start a fitness habit or to create a log of their diet choices with the Go365 App.

    Schedule regular educational sessions as reminders and encouragement for your associates to stick to their goals. Offer a variety of training topics to provide ideas and tools that will keep your members on track. For example, stress relief, weight management, smoking cessation and cooking classes are all great ways to educate and motivate your employees.

  2. Appreciation

    Depending on your employees’ circumstances, life stage and health goals, they will need different types of motivations at various points on their wellness journeys.

    Extrinsic motivators, such as cash prizes, gift cards and discounted health premiums, are great ways to introduce your health and well-being program. These intrinsic motivators, paired with pride of an accomplishment, help your associates stay the course and build on each milestone achieved.i

    Go365 is a personalized health and wellness program designed for small, gradual steps. It’s based on a behavioral economics principle known as “small wins.” The idea is that people who can start with a five-minute walk can extend to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes and longer, adding intensity and speed. Small wins are achievable goals and have been proven to be a preferred alternative to starting with an unrealistic goal.

    An effective wellness program should provide smaller rewards for members who prefer instant gratification, as well as much larger prizes for those motivated by big-ticket items. Offering multiple rewards helps to minimize frustration and motivate people toward their next milestone.

  3. Communication

    Elevate a culture of wellness within your organization by talking about the program during town halls and spotlighting the initiative in company communications. Continuously promote the program using emails, the company intranet and internal chat platforms, like Microsoft Teams or Slack. Send calendar invitations to educational sessions and include wellness breaks during team meetings, etc.

    Employer-sponsored events are a great way to engage your associates. Go365 offers examples of guidelines based on past successful events that will generate excitement and continue educating your teams on healthy habits.

    Each month, Go365 adds new Challenges that everyone can join. Friendly competition is an excellent motivator to take wellness goals to the next level. Encourage employees to work toward fitness goals as part of a group. Not only is it motivating for associates to encourage each other, but knowing they’re part of something bigger than themselves increases the likelihood they’ll stay engaged.

    Go365’s Engagement Source contains marketing material templates, communications guidelines and wellness ideas to provide a consistent cadence of promotional and educational messages, including push notifications via the Go365 App. In addition, the Employer Insider Newsletter provides the latest information about the program, as well as free upcoming webinars to further support your teams’ wellness journey.

A successful wellness program requires an understanding of what motivates and persuades employee engagement. Not only can you encourage your employees’ participation, but you can also inspire them to reach their personal wellness goals. The result will be happier, healthier employees who are more loyal and more productive.

To learn more about launching a corporate health and well-being program, contact your Humana sales rep or request more information about Go365’s wellness program by filling out this formOpens in new window.

Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.


What Employees Want in an Employer Wellness Program, Ann M. Wyatt, The SHRM Blog. Last accessed June 2020. PDF in new window

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