A common concern for organizations before launching a wellness program is whether they will get employees to participate. Investing in a program that doesn’t get used doesn't make sense, right? For today’s case study, we will share how we launched (and maintained) a wellness challenge program with a 3x participation rate over what the client expected.
Urban Systems is a professional consulting firm committed to supporting vibrant communities across Western Canada. They have employees all over BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They decided to run the HEAL 4-week wellness challenge with us this fall to support their employees' mental and physical well-being. They wanted employees to be able to build healthy habits while also boosting engagement and connection across so many work locations. When planning for the program, they estimated they would have ~60 participants.
When we run customized, done-for-you wellness programs with our clients, we know that the organizers (typically in People, Culture & HR) are already very busy with their regular responsibilities and don’t typically have the capacity to also manage a wellness program. This is why after one initial planning meeting, HEAL takes care of the rest of the planning and execution. It’s as hands-off as the client wants it to be.
In our initial planning meeting, we learned that Urban Systems wanted to prioritize reducing stress, increasing energy, improving self-care and boosting mood and overall mental health. This led us to create a challenge with 4 weekly themes: Foundational Habits, Prioritizing Stress & Self Care, Eating For Energy, and Boosting Mood & Improving Sleep.
As part of the ‘done-for-you’ aspect, we also take care of the promotion of the program, and so we put together a promo communication plan for them as well. After running wellness challenges for 8+ years, we know what employees are looking for and can very clearly communicate the benefit of participating, which drives higher registration rates too.
When we opened registration, we watched the numbers go up and up! After the kick-off event, where we explained how the program works and what benefits participants can expect from participating, we closed registration with over 200 participants. Urban Systems was thrilled with this number, as they had expected closer to 60.
It’s one thing to launch with higher registration than expected, but then, to make an impact, it’s important that participation stays high. Throughout the 4 weeks, participation remained in the high 80s. Urban Systems was a competitive group, and through the holistic nature of the program (nutrition, movement and mental health all-in-one), Upon completion of the program, we always survey participants about the results. Below is a snapshot of Urban System’s feedback summary. Many of the habits that we build in the program are really quite simple, but when done over the long term have a huge impact on mental health, burnout, connection and more!
It was so great to hear the chatter around the office created by the challenge – people asking others what they struggled with and how they felt motivated, connected and loved the competition aspect! Teams held each other accountable to complete daily tasks and even took time to complete many challenges together.” - Sarah Hayes, People S
To close off, it takes a number of factors to drive high engagement in a wellness program including the marketing of the program, content of the program, technology used for the program, company culture and more. If you are looking to run a customized, done-for-you wellness program, click here to get in touch now.