Despite a rocketing corporate uptake of wellness initiatives globally, fresh industry data released this week in the GCC’s 2013 Global Workplace Health & Wellness Report has exposed employee participation levels as a primary concern and hurdle for nine in ten wellness managers worldwide.
To put participation levels into context: data shows that most organisations have their sights set on getting 60 percent of their workforce involved in their wellness initiatives. However, the stark reality is that workplace health initiatives today are achieving – on average - under 20 percent workforce participation. It’s both a considerable shortfall, and a considerable opportunity.
Adding to this overarching challenge, more than three-quarters of organisations also admit struggling to attract high-risk employees to their initiatives. Of concern, only one in five is successful in doing so. This suggests a gaping missed opportunity to support the workers most in need (and of greatest ROI potential).
Underpinning this common participation hurdle, survey data also revealed a shortfall in another critical wellness program characteristic: FUN.
An overwhelming 99 percent of respondents rated “fun” as average-to-high importance in workplace wellness initiatives. Almost half cited a perceived lack of interest or engagement as a major barrier to employee participation. Yet, just one in ten respondents deemed their own initiatives as having very high levels of fun. It’s little wonder that employee enthusiasm and participation levels worldwide are flagging.
In this way, these three little letters – F.U.N. – provide a powerful way to perk up employees’ perceptions of wellness initiatives and accelerate enthusiastic participation by even the most reluctant of employees. Fun resonates with everyone and when marketed appropriately, can reset a program “sell” from a push to a pull, from “just another obligation” to an invitation to participate in something enjoyable and rewarding and fun.
Fun and engagement are especially critical components in long-term behavioural change initiatives, which data has shown is the wellness objective of 84% of organisations globally. Like all worthwhile endeavours, long-term behavioural change takes time and can only occur when employees are actively engaged. In this way, fun is an essential ingredient to wellness success.
The GCC has earned global success and an impressive corporate following with this focus on fun and engagement. Our award-winning online platform and entertaining communication style have been proven to genuinely excite and engage participants along their entire behavioural change journey. As a result of GCC’s engaging design, employees of all ages and abilities and lifestyles stampede year-on-year to participate. In fact, half of all GCC participants are typically over 40 years old, with an even split between genders. From a penetration perspective, GCC achieves 40-60% workforce participation levels in the first year, rising quickly year-on-year as it is embedded in workplace culture and wellness strategy.