The Numbers Are In: Wellness Champion Programs Increase Engagement By 18%
Employees consistently cite their work environment as key to their happiness at work. At WCS, we understand that culture plays a key role in employee health and happiness. By creating a culture of health and wellbeing, employers can positively influence employees’ behaviors, leading to improved health. A part of that healthy environment includes access to wellbeing resources and programs, from wellness challenges to on-site health screenings and coaching. But, adoption of these behaviors requires an effective communication plan and buy-in from employees at every level. This is where wellness champion programs come in.
What are wellness champion programs and how do they provide value?
One of the best ways a company can build a culture of health is through an active wellness champion program or committee. The WCS champion program is a hallmark of our comprehensive wellness programming. Along with health screenings, coaching and engagement with our wellness portal, wellness champion programs help create a communication channel that often works more effectively than traditional print and email communications.
At WCS, our program managers strategize with clients to develop and maintain a wellness champion program that improves program awareness amongst all employees. Our strategy uses operative tools to recruit, train, and recognize employee volunteers. We provide virtual and in-person training, a comprehensive champion toolkit, on-site turn-key program guides, communication materials, and even a digital social hub for our champions. In turn, champion volunteers help spread the message of wellbeing while also providing valuable program feedback to the program organizers for each of our clients.
In order to determine effectiveness, we took a look at our 2016 wellness program usage across our Full Circle Wellness clients and compared metrics of employers that have a champion program versus those without one. We looked at both portal participation as well as program qualification.
- Participation is defined as creating an account on and interacting with the company’s wellness portal.
- Qualification is defined as reaching the participation target in order to receive a wellness incentive (if applicable).
Overall, clients with wellness champion programs or committees had a 68% average portal participation rate compared to a 50% average participation rate for those who didn’t. In addition, we saw qualification rates improve by 11% from companies without a champion program versus those with one (35% and 46%, respectively).
We believe it’s important to design programs that are fun and engaging—but we also believe that communicating the value of that program is essential to program success. A well-led champion program has a significant impact on the reach of the program communications as well as program adoption across an employee base. In other words, a culture of wellness goes hand in hand with a culture of communication. Employee participation in digital tools and campaigns significantly increases when wellness champions provide that extra resource.