Avoiding pitfalls of corporate wellness programs is a goal of every program. In order to make your program as successful as possible, here are three common issues that are easy to avoid if you know what to look for.
- Team Challenges vs. Individual Competition: An experiment done by Indiana University Health, used travel incentives like trips to Chicago and the Caribbean to incentivize employees to walk 10,000 steps daily for a certain period of time. The individual competition was designed to promote healthy lifestyles, while promoting friendly competition amongst coworkers. The wheels fell off the experiment when some people started logging upwards of four times the goal distance daily, and other coworkers made accusations of cheating. Instead of building camaraderie, Indiana University Health learned that team challenges often go more smoothly than individual competitions.
- Create the Right Materials: If you’re about to implement a long-term wellness program, and you’re actively trying to avoid pitfalls of corporate wellness programs, create the right materials. This may mean that you follow SAP America’s example and contact FitBit directly if you are about to buy hundreds (if not thousands in SAP’s case) of activity trackers. Getting the experts involved allows you to ask for recommendations, or avoid possible issues or questions that may come up. Dedicating an internal resource, whether it’s an intern, a part-time consultant, or an HR resource to working with the experts and ensuring the right informational materials are created to guide the workforce is key to early and lasting success.
- Get IT Involved: If you are doing ANYTHING related to technology, this includes activity trackers, corporate wellness platforms, even a wiki portal to have staff self-report activity, get your IT people involved. Not only for compliance with any institutional information safety and security policies, but to ensure successful implementation and streamlining of alerts and information go out to staff in a streamlined, clear manner. Corporate wellness programs can be tricky, make it easy for employees by making things smoother for employers.