From the Blog

4 ways to bring the spark back to your wellness program

When you first launched your wellness program, your employees were excited. They signed up for wellness challenges and you saw awesome participation numbers. There’s a chance that after some time has passed, the spark has faded. Employees don’t feel the same excitement anymore – it’s become just another program.

This situation is too common – among the organizations we surveyed in our State of Workplace Well-Being report, 49 percent said sustaining interest and active involvement was a major challenge to the success of their wellness program.

It’s time to bring the spark back. We’ve got four tips to help you re-energize your wellness program by making it more personal and relevant.

4 ways to bring the spark back to your wellness program


1. Give employees a choice

Some employees love yoga, while others would rather take an outdoor run. Employees have unique needs and different interests, so give your workforce a choice of activities. When employees can pick and choose which initiatives they want to participate in, it makes the program relevant and interesting to them. They can personalize their program to better fit their needs and goals.

And as a bonus, science shows that when people have a choice, they feel more motivated to complete tasks. A study found when employees were given a choice, they felt a greater sense of intrinsic motivation to get the task done than those without.

2. Make it relevant

No one wants to do the same workout routine over and over again or attend a lunch-and-learn on a topic that isn’t relevant to them. Keep employees interested in your wellness program by regularly switching up challenges. Ask employees what types of programs and activities interest them and what they hope to achieve. 

Be sure to offer a variety of physical activities, new team challenges and other initiatives to keep the program fresh.In our experience, we’ve found the sweet spot for challenges include 7-12 at a time (and new challenge should launch at least quarterly but no less than monthly). Tailor your program to fit the seasons, too. 

3. Keep employees connected

Effective wellness programs don’t just exist in the office. To sustain long-term motivation in the program, wellness programs needs to become a real part of employees’ lifestyles.

Give employees the ability to connect to the program via their personal devices. That way, employees can check and update their progress, see which initiatives they’re participating in and stay involved outside of work.

4. Share goals

Incentives aren’t enough to sustain program motivation. Employees need to have a deeper connection with your wellness program. They need intrinsic motivation. Help employees find that internal motivation by allowing them to set personal goals. What do they want to achieve? Why is the program important to them?

When employees have a clear idea of why they’re participating in challenges, they’re more likely to stick with it. They’ve attached their own value to the program – and that’s more motivating than any incentive. Bring the spark back by helping employees define what wellness means to them and what goals they’re working toward.

Employee interest in exciting new programs naturally fades over time. But when your wellness program is personal and relevant to their needs, sustaining motivation over time is totally possible.

How do you keep the spark for wellness going in your workplace? Share in the comments below!