Although seven in 10 American workplaces offer wellness programs, a new Brodeur Partners survey suggests many employees don’t know that programs in their workplaces exist.
Only about one-third (34 percent) of employed Americans surveyed by Brodeur said they have a health and wellness program at work—although a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management puts the prevalence of such programs at 70 percent.
“Clearly, there’s a disconnect,” said Brodeur Partners CEO Andrea Coville. “Either employees aren’t getting the memo about the programs that exist in their workplaces, or they don’t consider what their employers are offering to be true wellness programs. Companies need to communicate clearly, aggressively and creatively about what they’re offering and how the programs can enhance their employees’ well-being.”
Lack of awareness isn’t the only explanation for an employee indicating her company lacks a wellness program. Sometimes there’s just no program. Only 32 percent of those age 35 to 54 and only 24 percent of the 55-plus segments indicated they had a workplace wellness program compared to more than two in five millennials (18 to 34).
At the same time, some employees resist programs that are in place for reasons including privacy concerns (50 percent), doubt that such programs would be helpful to them (31 percent), and lack of confidence in an employer’s ability to run an effective program (19 percent). The likelihood of resisting workplace wellness programs increases with employee’s age, the survey found.
Nevertheless, nearly half the respondents (45 percent) said they would participate if their workplace offered a wellness program, including 46 percent of millennials, 47 percent of Gen Xers and 39 percent of boomers.