Corporate Wellness: Employee Participation vs. Employee Engagement

Are your employees shaping up your wellness program, or simply showing up?


It is no secret that a beneficial corporate-sponsored wellness program, such as the ones that are offered by Walkingspree, are an obvious choice for businesses all over the country. Not only do these award-winning programs help to improve employee health and morale, reduce medical claims and lower absenteeism, but effective health and productivity programs can also make a real difference to a company’s bottom line.


Corporate-sponsored health and wellness programs can also be a true win-win for everyone involved when they are focused on the health and well being of your staff. For that reason, many employers who utilize these bifacial health programs often cite increased engagement and participation as their top one prioritiy when designing a wellness plan that works best for their company.




However, these two terms?”engagement” and “participation”?are not to be used interchangeably, especially when it comes to your employee’s involvement in your company’s wellness program. In fact, whether or not your employees choose to be engaged or to simply participate can determine how successful (or unsuccessful) your corporate wellness program may be.


When referring to health and wellness programs, engagement is often referred to as having a genuine and emotionally-influenced connection to health and behavior change. However, participation merely means taking a particular course of action, regardless of sincerity or value involved in the activity.


To help you determine how you can ensure that your employees are engaged, and not simply participating, in your corporate-sponsored wellness program, we have put together some basic information on how Walkingspree’s wellness programs encourage your staff to get started and stay engaged throughout the duration of your program:


Set Goals


For many people, health and fitness goals can be difficult to create and achieve. However, with Walkingspree’s wellness program, many tools and programs we have been set in place which have resulted in the improved health and well being of participants. One of the best ways to follow your employees overall progress with their fitness program is to have them keep track of their progress and their achievements. This has never been easier than with the advanced Walkingspree USB pedometer, which provides the most accurate step count available today.

Rewards and Penalties


In 2012, four in five companies plan to offer some type of financial reward to individuals who participate in their health management programs, mostly due to the many benefits that these incentives bring. For instance, among employers that offer financial incentives for health risk appraisals, employee participation rates are 46%, compared with 19% for those that do not offer incentives. In addition, the use of penalties more than doubled from 2009 to 2011, rising from 8% to 19%, and is expected to double again by 2012 when over a third (38%) of respondents plan to have penalties in place.


Winning a prize or monetary reward is fun. However, not everyone is motivated by competition. Coworkers have the biggest influence on their peers, which is why participation certificates, special recognition from management, or articles in the employee newsletter are a great way to support your staff and inform co-workers of their success. Corporate wellness incentive plans could also include sponsoring a healthy pot luck lunch each month, as a chance to reward all of your employees who participate.


Corporate-sponsored wellness programs offer your company a great way to decrease your health and wellness costs among employees, while also improving your bottom line at the same time. However, the key to any successful wellness program is a group of engaged, enthusiastic employees. Contact Walkingspree today to set up a program that is sure to keep your employees motivated and coming back for more.


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