Employee wellness programs have quickly moved from a frill to a “must have.” Heightened interest in fitness—and associated “wellness”—provided the initial push, and the Affordable Care Act accelerated the rush to workplace wellness. Research from RAND Corporation shows that about 85 percent of organizations with at least 1,000 employees have workplace wellness programs in place.
These days, the issue isn’t whether to have an employee wellness program in place, but how to draw employees into a program and keep them engaged once the initial excitement wears off. This is especially important in light of a recent report from Health Affairs showing that it can take as long as three years before participation in workplace wellness programs lowers health care costs.
That’s where health-focused promotional products come into play. When combined with a bit of creativity, health- and fitness-related promo products can pump up the fun of your workplace wellness program and keep engagement high. Here are some tips for using them in your program:
- Giveaways to all employees when the program is launched, or on program anniversaries (one year from launch, two years, and so on). Items can be as simple as a pedometer or a pocket packet of sun screen branded with your logo, or items related to a healthy diet, such as snap-top containers for brown bag lunches.
- Fitness-focused awards for meeting personal goals. Maybe a set of resistance bands (complete with a training DVD), a personal fitness bag that includes exercise band and hand and ankle weights.
- Branded apparel that is good for everyday use and fitness activities. Lightweight, practical, and nicely styled, fleece jackets are always a hit and you can brand them with your logo. (Tip: make your brand subtle so your employees can get more mileage out of the jacket, and your brand has more opportunities for exposure).
- Be unpredictable sometimes. Bring attention to wellness (and your wellness program) by periodically surprising employees with health-related items distributed around the office. Baskets of lip balms, pocket-sized hand sanitizers, or stress balls placed in the cafeteria, by water coolers, or at the reception desk will trigger awareness.
- Make a video of employees using the products and post it on your organization’s Facebook page (and link to it from your company’s social media platform, if you have one). You don’t have to go for great production values; less formal and more fun makes it more real—and compelling. (Tip: check with your HR department regarding employee preferences regarding use of their images before shooting.)
Are you looking to re-charge your workplace wellness program? Or are you just getting started with one and want to explore what will really gets participants engaged? Contact a Marketing Innovators promotional products consultant today.
You can also download our recent wellness webinar “The Road to Workplace Wellness,” an exclusive Marketing Innovators webinar that highlights:
- Tools for getting company buy-in
- Guidance for creating a successful wellness program
- Advice on how to keep your employees engaged and active
Sources: The New York Times, September 11, 2014.