Four Key Disadvantages of Employee Wellness Programs

Whenever you hear about employee wellness programs, you typically hear about how wonderful they are and all the benefits that come with implementing one of these programs in your workplace.

But employee wellness programs are not as beneficial or important as most people claim them to be, and disadvantages of these programs do exist. Before you implement a wellness program into your company, take the time to learn about the following disadvantages to these programs.

It’s expensive.

Wellness plans are extremely expensive to create. Most companies don’t think the price of a wellness program will be as much as they are, and some are shocked to realize that they simply cannot afford to implement one.

In order to create a wellness program, you want to offer incentives and perks to your employees. But this requires you to cover the cost. For example, if you hire a doctor to come into the office to perform wellness checks for your employees, you will have to pay the doctor for his or her services. If you want to build a gym in the office for your employees, this costs money. Everything about the wellness program costs money, and the more features you put into the wellness program, the more expensive it’s going to be.

It invades privacy.

Some employees are afraid to participate in wellness programs for fear that other employees will find things out about them that they wanted to keep private. For example, if an employee partakes in a free health screening and the screening finds that they have an underlying issue, it’s possible that this information may be shared with someone in the office other than the employee. If you are offering a dieting program, some employees may be too embarrassed to get on a scale in front of other employees. If employees aren’t interested in participating, your wellness program is not going to find much success.

It requires upkeep.

In order to implement a wellness program, you need to have a team created that is responsible for creating, managing and implementing the wellness program. This team will need to meet on a regular basis in order to determine what’s working, what’s not working and what should be tried next. Your business may not have the resources to create this team, and many employees may not volunteer if meetings are held after work hours.

It’s not the right fit for everyone.

You may already have employees who are exercising and eating healthy, and these individuals may already have a routine that works for them, so they may not opt to join the wellness program. But if you offer incentives and perks to employees that do, it’s unfair to the already healthy employee. Other employees may want to participate in the wellness program, but they may not have the time to participate, which will leave them feeling unhappy.

Though the idea of a wellness program is great, it’s not as ideal as everyone makes it out to be. Though they can promote a healthier work environment, there are far too many disadvantages to wellness programs to make them the right choice for every company. If you really want to determine if a wellness program is right for your company, you need to do your research and weigh your pros and cons.

Kara Lam provides education in the selection of wellness plans from engagement health. She is also an avid reader and a marathon runner.

View all contributions by