What is adoption rate of your Employee Wellness Programs and Initiatives?

There has been a lot of changes in 2020 with respect to employee productivity and engagement. When there is no clear distinction between work and personal lives, employees are isolated, it became critical for every organization to lay hold of employee wellness programs and initiatives. In 2020 almost every organizations large or small took different initiatives and signed up for programs to help employees to reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety, and help employees to stay well and avoid getting sick. But one thing we are hearing from most of the organizations is low employee wellness programs adoption rate. When we spoke to few HR leaders, we found employee wellness adoption rate is between 1 to 10% not more than that.

In fact, According to Havard Business Review – 63% Employees are not utilizing Mental Health Support that companies are providing.

If you are facing a similar issue, then in this article we are going to cover how can you solve employee wellness program adoption challenges. In my last article, Criticality of Employee Wellbeing Analytics, I already covered what important role analytics play in curving out employee wellness programs and initiatives and this holds true in adoption too.

While strategizing any employee wellness programs or initiatives, 6 questions we should always ask :

  1. Mass Program Vs Personalized  – Are you Creating mass programs like a yoga session, quiz or fun activities or personalized programs based on employees need. If an employee is stressed due to financial management and you are trying to engage them with mass yoga session it may not help that particular employee. He might need a financial advisor or tips and tools to manage his finances better.
  2. Mental Health Apps: Lot of companies started adopting mindfulness apps to support employees mental health as part of well-being program. First of all its important to note how many of them are downloading another app and adopting it. Secondly, how many employees are going to remember to use the app at the time of stress. Downloading another app and adopting it itself is a stressful activity.
  3. Employee feedback: Are you empowering employees to be part of employee wellness program decision or asking them to attend any program that you find for them.  Lot of times internal survey gives leadership team a great impression that their employees are motivated and satisfied. But external websites like Glassdoor etc gives organization different picture altogether. So its extremely important how we are capturing employees feedback.
  4. Solving mental health issues in silos: Accept it or not – Mental health is still a stigma. Can mental health stigma be solved in silos or do HR leaders need to walk 1 extra mile to show that empathy?
  5. Right coaching at right time – Every employee is unique and so is their need. So how can you cater to their unique need at right time with personalized coaching, counselling or advice. Right coaching and care at right time is again extremely important to build that trust and relation
  6. Analyze : How are you analyzing participants and non-program participants and find out why it is not important for the non-participants. how can you Compare different data of different departments, roles and analyze patterns and strategize what is important and what is not.

If you have captured answers to all above question, battle for employee wellness adoption is half fought. Now to plan employee wellness programs there should be proper step by step hacks that we should plan. Here I am sharing few hacks.

5 hacks to increase adoption of employee wellness program :

  1. What’s the incentive – Curve out proper incentive plan for employee wellbeing adoption. It need not to be always in cash rewards but as simple as employees personal growth and financial growth.
  2. Awareness Marketing: Curve out proper 30-60-90 days plan how marketing will happen in order to make employees aware about wellness initiatives and how can they benefit.
  3. Communication Channels: How are you going to reach out and notify employees via email, sms or any other means. There are immense of options available today because of technology. so what will be innovative way to communicate with employees. Here are some more communication tips by HBR
  4. Buy-in from Leadership : Employee wellness shouldn’t be core charter of HR leaders only. every leaders should come forward and promote as productivity, engagement is directly linked to outcome of employees.
  5. Word of mouth : If program and initiatives are catering to employees professional and personal growth, chances of word of mouth spread is high which in turn will automatically increase adoption.