6 creative strategies for engaging employees in corporate wellness programs


According to recent research from the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Employer Survey, 84 percent of employers plan to continue or expand their employee wellness programs in the next three to five years. Great news, right? Wellness programs are growing!

However, the big challenge remains: How do companies best engage employees in these growing corporate wellness programs?

It’s an ongoing dilemma. But, some companies are using creative approaches to reach employees, actively engage them, and boost employee health. Here’s a look at six of the more unique approaches I’ve seen recently.

1 – 15-minute meditation breaks. Many employees don’t have the time to participate in an hour-long fitness class during the day. But, a 15-minute meditation break? That, they can do. One manufacturing company offers “release and relax” classes designed to give employees a much-needed mental break in their days. Instant mental refresh!

2 – Host an NFL combine. OK, I’m not suggesting you host an actual NFL combine. But, what about organizing an athletic combine at your company where you ask employees to participate in combine-like activities like the broad jump, shuttle run and vertical jump? Employees could then earn points by participating in these events that they could put toward personal training sessions.

3— Create a bike-commuting group. With bike commuting gaining traction in certain markets, this can be a relatively easy way to foster camaraderie, while also promoting physical and mental wellness among employees.

4 – Facilitate at-desk workouts. Some employees just can’t get away from their desks during the workday. For those folks, why not provide them with a list of “at-desk workouts” they can knock off in 10-15 minute increments? Easy way to build a little exercise into your employees’ days!

5 – Unplug in the garden. Looking for a creative way to engage employees who might have a bit of a green thumb? What about a corporate garden? A small garden can help employees log off, unplug, and refresh—even if just for 10-15 minutes. And, the other benefit: Fresh fruits and veggies you can share with your employees!

6 – Provide virtual fitness trainers. Other employees aren’t comfortable working out with their colleagues in the corporate gym. So, why not reach these folks virtually by posting a series of videos with quick 15- to 20-minute workouts on your corporate intranet?

These are just a few of the creative approaches I’ve seen be successful in the workplace recently. What about you? What unique strategies have worked for you to help engage employees in corporate wellness programs?





The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: