Health and Wellbeing programmes have come a long way since the days when the only offering from an employer was an Employee Assistance Program. Health events, stress and resilience training, promotion campaigns, health checks, online assessments and tailored workshops are just many of the services that organisations are now offering their workforce. However, poor engagement levels can be a problem to any HR Department. So what are the main barriers to holding employees back and what can you do about it?
Research from a US insurer has asked a sample of 1,200 employees what was holding them back when they had access to a wellbeing programme and what were the barriers to their participation. As it turns out, there are a fair few of them (respondents could tick more than one box!):
Lack of time – 27 percent
Inconvenient location – 25 percent
Inconvenient time – 24 percent
Awareness of program – 17 percent
Privacy concerns – 14 percent
Pressure to finish work – 13 percent
Security concerns – 13 percent
Lack of boss’ support – 10 percent
Too busy working – 9 percent
Just not interested – 9 percent
Family doesn’t back it – 5 percent
Lack of time was the number-one complaint lodged by respondents, but inconvenience of location and time were right behind. To combat this, here are Healthy Performance’s top 5 tips to boost employee engagement:
1. Choose onsite services. Giving your employees the chance to take part in health and wellbeing initiatives on their doorstep will ensure that location and timings will be less of an issue to attending events.
2. Get buy in from management. Employees need to trust each other as well as their leadership. Employees are constantly watching leadership to see how their decisions affect the strategic direction of the organization and if their behaviors reflect what they say.
3. Not communicating or communicating late can damage engagement. Hearing about an important update from colleagues can have a negative impact on employee engagement. Ensure employees hear these messages from the business as soon as possible.
4. Actively promote organizational effectiveness, reputation, values and ethics. Employees want to feel good about their leaders, where they work, the products they sell and the reputation of their company.
5. Provide constant feedback on the positives. When employees know what they’re doing well, they’ll keep doing it – or, even better, do more of it. Providing someone with a little recognition on what they’re doing well can go a long way toward boosting morale. This is not to say “ignore the weaknesses” – just don’t make the weaknesses the only focus area of feedback. A Healthy Performance company health report can let you communicate positive health stories across the business.