Corporate wellness programs can be extremely successful for employees and companies alike. However, that isn’t always the experience of every company that seeks to reap the benefits of offering this kind of perk. Many who have created such a program might be wondering where they went wrong.

For those currently struggling to get corporate wellness programs up and off the ground, or those who are doing the research in preparation to launch one, here are several top challenges — and how to address them.

People just aren’t interested

"Build it and they will come" doesn't always apply. So, what went wrong? There’s a couple of reasons that may be contributing to a lack-luster response. First, a poor communication strategy can be a driving factor for weak engagement. If your workforce is unaware of the programs offered, or don’t understand what is offered, then no one will be engaged with the program. Which is why communication is so very important; in fact, we’ve addressed this topic in a previous post. Second, it’s possible that the program doesn’t meet the needs of your workforce. Corporate wellness plans aren’t meant to be one-size-fits-all, which is why flexibility is key. Every company has a unique set of characteristics that influences the needs, wants, trends, etc. of its employees. Programs that don’t start with the personal interest of the employees it’s meant for won’t get traction. Involve your employees in the planning and implementation phases; doing so will encourage greater engagement and success.

Can’t get leadership to sign-off

Wellness programs often require an investment of time and money. Getting leadership to see the vision of your proposed wellness program can be a difficult hurdle to get over. Unless you have a leadership team that is already committed to wellness, it will be important to help your leadership understand the value — both tangible and intangible — of a formal wellness program. Leverage examples of successful programs by companies in the same industry, help leadership become aware of leading health concerns facing your workforce and point to the proven bottom-line benefits that a company can enjoy. As you speak with leadership, help them understand how the proposed wellness initiatives can support the mission and vision of the company. When decision makers are presented with the facts and the emotional motives, many understand the importance of integrating wellness programs.

We don’t really know what kind of impact it’s having

Do you even really know if your wellness program is or isn’t working? Meaning, do you have the metrics in place to track engagement and impact or the lack thereof? If you don’t, you’re not getting a clear picture of who is using the program, how they use it and why — all critical pieces of information needed to determine the status of your programs. Whether you have technology in place to assist with tracking or plan to do another process of management, make metric-gathering and analysis a priority. Consider leveraging the help of management to help gauge harder-to-measure factors regarding their direct reports like productivity or absenteeism.

Wellness programs can work. However, the aforementioned factors are leading reasons why so many programs don’t work. Take the time to make sure the program you plan to put in place provides options that appeal to your employees, leadership and bottom line.

See how ClassPass Corporate Wellness is helping companies succeed — reach out here.

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