Why do corporate wellness programs fail?

You are proactive.

You choose to spend adequate time with your employees to understand their stresses and pain points.

You carefully craft a wellness program catering to their needs but the adoption rates are low and the program fails. 

This can be a puzzling challenge. 

But here are some questions to consider: 

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then it is a clear sign that your average employee is struggling due to high levels of stress at work.

If you are looking to analyze why your wellness programs are failing, here are some things to think about: 

Apart from having employee representation from all departments, it is helpful to have influential leaders who can lead by example. When employees seek support to participate actively in these programs, it is imperative for leaders to be supportive.

To avoid failure, your corporate wellness program should be easy to understand and follow. All the steps involved should be easy to complete, including, registration for every event, incentive plans and the content shared. 

Organizations can set themselves up for success by acknowledging the uniqueness of their employees based on demographics, industry, and other factors that matter to your employees. Use this data to design programs that fulfill your employees’ motivations and needs. 

Any action that has intrinsic motivations is more likely to be carried through as versus one that has external motivations – like shoving wellness programs down employees’ throats without their input, or having dire consequences for non-participation. 

Positive reinforcement works wonders for positive outcomes without lowering the employees’ morale. 

Understand that your average employee is busy with his/her everyday tasks and job roles. They might find it difficult to find time and the motivation to make an effort if they cannot see value in the wellness program. 

  1. Getting your own staff to design it instead of hiring an expert

Though you might save costs in the short term, engaging your existing staff to design the wellness program is likely to fail as your organization does not have access to expert advice. Though the enthusiasm and effort can keep the wellness program afloat for a while, the lack of time, expertise and neglect in the long run can have disastrous unwanted consequences. 

By looking at the pitfalls and common reasons for failure, one can design an optimum wellness program best suited for their specific employees.