We’ve all been there: You’ve organised a wellbeing event for your colleagues. You’ve rigorously researched the best provider, the subject matter is on-point and you’ve thought long and hard about the perfect time and day of the week to schedule it in.
Despite an encouraging flurry of accepted invites, the event arrives… and attendance is disappointingly low.
It’s no reflection on you (the organiser), or the session itself. In fact, those who did attend the wellbeing event have been raving about the content and presenter. It’s a frustrating blow and doesn’t look great next time you’re trying to approve spend for more wellbeing sessions from the budget holders.
We’re here to help. With over 12 years experience delivering workplace wellbeing solutions to hundreds of companies, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves when it comes to increasing employee attendance at your next wellbeing event.
Make your Marketing Work Hard
“It’s not what you sell that matters as much as how you sell it.” Brian Halligan, co-found Hubspot.
You want the marketing of your wellness events to create energy and excitement. Think about your company values and culture and align the content accordingly.
Enlist your in-house marketing team to create imagery and write copy that will stand out amongst the noise of all the other internal comms.
Try promoting your wellbeing events:
- On your company intranet and company newsletter / internal comms
- Put posters in communal areas. On the back of toilet doors always guarantees some uninterrupted attention.
- Pop it in your email signature
- Mention in company and team meetings
Want to get your employees really excited for their wellbeing sessions? Ask us for a video snippet of your wellbeing session. Once employees have had a taster of the content and seen the presenter in action, they’ll be invested and on-board.
Get Savvy with your Scheduling
A confirmed calendar event is much more likely to happen.
This may seem an obvious one, but putting a wellbeing event in people’s calendars show’s the employee’s committed and spending some time on their wellbeing is of equal importance to other important meetings and events.
Send out a calendar invite with your comms and then send a reminder on the morning and 10 minutes before the event. If the wellbeing event is an exercise class that requires a change of clothes, schedule a reminder the evening before.
If this sounds like too much admin for you, Stretching the City have an online booking tool available to clients. This allows employees to book the sessions themselves and automatically receive calendar invites and reminders.
Keep regular sessions, such as a weekly yoga or Pilates class consistent. The continuity of a regular session will soon make their weekly class a non-negotiable event in their week.
If you’re aim is to integrate wellbeing in to your company culture, then your staff calendars need to reflect that. It should become the norm to see yoga classes and mental health workshops blocked out in colleague’s calendars.
Make Space for Wellbeing with a Manageable Workload
‘Sorry, I was too busy’, ‘I had a meeting that over-ran’, ‘I’ve got a client call / deadline etc’.
These are the kind of excuses and apologies you’ll likely receive before a session if employees are too overloaded with work to make time for wellbeing.
To really boost employee attendance at your wellbeing event, ensure employees have time in their day to attend wellbeing sessions that are important to them. Ask in team meetings what everyone would like to attend that week.
And if the thought of trying to schedule 60 minutes in your diary for a stress reduction workshop actually causes you more stress trying to find the time… then the good news is the majority of our 60 minute workshops are now available as x2 30 minute workshops, to be delivered within a fortnight of one another.
We also record all of our sessions, sharing these with clients for 4 weeks after the event. So if you genuinely can’t find the time to attend the live event, you can catch up on the recording on a quieter day.
Get Senior Management Support
The support of senior figures is integral to the success of your workplace wellbeing strategy. Ideally senior leaders will attend wellbeing sessions, setting the precedent to younger employees of the importance of taking time for your wellbeing.
If leaders and managers can’t physically attend the wellbeing sessions themselves, then they should promote and talk about them – encouraging their staff to take the time to attend. Some of our clients have a senior figure ‘sponsor’ a wellbeing event, preluding it with a personal introduction or sharing a story of their own wellbeing or mental health.
As well as setting an example to the rest of the organisation, senior managers should attend wellbeing sessions for their own health and wellbeing. 96% of leaders feel some degree of burnout and 60% of people leave their jobs as a result of ineffective management.
Therefore for leaders, looking after your own wellbeing and that of your team is a business priority – and is a guaranteed way to help increase employee attendance at your next wellbeing event.
Attempt to get Everyone Involved in your Wellbeing Plans
Offering a range of sessions – covering different content, at different times of the day, of different durations and in different formats (e.g. Virtual and in-house) will mean there’s more opportunities for everyone to get involved.
Not sure where to start when choosing your wellbeing offerings? Ask your staff. Send regular surveys, add wellbeing questions in to appraisals, run adhoc polls in your virtual meetings. Keep the wellbeing conversation going.
Overwhelmed by all that’s on offer in the wellbeing space?
Working with a Workplace Wellbeing provider, like Stretching the City will give you access to hundreds of different wellbeing classes, workshops, teachers and experts. Saving you the time and struggle of searching for multiple wellbeing suppliers yourselves. See our full list of services here.