The sheer volume of health and fitness apps blows my mind. Advancements in technology, especially in the wellness industry, have done wonders for tracking our health and physical activity. The employee wellness industry is particularly inundated with companies offering web and mobile tools to provide employees with valuable information about their current health and, ultimately, assist with positive behavioral changes.
But like any new toy, the glitz and glamour of the latest and greatest innovation dim over time (think of that new device you once could not live without, now eternally put to rest in a drawer). In my experience, the same analogy can be drawn for corporate wellness programs. In the beginning excitement and engagement are at its highest, but as the years pass utilization starts to decrease. So what happened?
Providing employees opportunities to participate in a wellness program virtually is a necessity, especially for a dispersed workforce; however, we have lost sight of the value of personal interaction. I cannot stress enough the significant benefits of face-to-face connection and building trust with a health and wellness professional. If the majority of your employees are centralized to one area, onsite offerings that fit within your company culture can be very useful in getting and keeping employees’ attention. Activities like health and life coaching, medical clinics, fitness classes, massage, meditation classes, and healthy eating workshops have been shown to improve employee’s confidence in creating and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
Hands down, the most effective programs I’ve seen among my clients are the ones that couple onsite activities with online resources. Employees are quicker to adopt new behaviors when they have personal support and accountability. Consider adding some in-person activities to enhance your wellness engagement – a great consultant can help your organization round out your program and maximize the benefit to your workforce.