What’s in it for me? That’s what your employees may be asking themselves when they hear about your wellness program. It’s a natural question. People are encouraged to do something if it will provide a benefit or the alternative would have a greater cost. Here are a few tips, based on motivation theory, to make recruitment for your wellness program a success. 

Make Goals Clear

Rewards, either financial or non-financial, can work well as motivation for wellness program participation if you clearly identify specific targets, such as step goals or other desired behaviors. 


Eligibility Criteria Incentive
Member registers by deadline Entered into a raffle for a fitness tracker
Member reaches 8,000 steps/day average during challenge Receives gift card to local coffee shop
Team with the highest step average and highest member participation  Healthy, catered lunch party
Member reaches 300,000 total steps during challenge $200 discount on health insurance premium
Member who improved the most throughout the challenge Coffee meeting with CEO or other executive 

It is also important to give your members context to understand that the program goals and expectations are achievable. Email or notice reminders go a long way. Here’s some sample text:

“The average American walks 5,117 steps per day. Adding an extra 15-minute brisk walk (about 1,500 steps) in your day could get you to that 6,000 step goal!”

You can also add a comment to the challenge discussion board sharing fitness facts and asking members what they are doing to meet their goals. Members can learn from each other and encourage others in their fitness goals.


Give Them Praise

Wellness program participation needs to be appealing and appear as a significant gain for participants. One method to motivate participation is recognition. Make participants feel special for participating in the program. 

During your challenge registration period, consider sending out communications or posting on your organization’s intranet page to highlight employees and their reasons for joining the challenge. Using the Walker Tracker platform, administrators can give shout-outs to the most engaged members through the notice feature and email tools. Offline methods of recognition, such as an awards ceremony, achievement certificates, or participation trophies, are also great ways to make participants feel praised.  


Make Wellness a Value

We desire to behave in a manner consistent with our values. By tying desired behavior to our values, we will be naturally and willingly motivated to act in that manner. When promoting your Walker Tracker step challenge, highlight the adventure and fun that participants will experience while traveling on a virtual map route. Challenge participants to achieve goals and develop healthier lifestyle habits along the way. Consider setting an organization-wide goal to create a sense of community and fellowship as everyone works together to reach the goal. 

It’s a good idea to highlight several values to appeal to a wide audience. Some of your participants may have stronger motivations to exercise because of health and well-being, whereas others see exercise as a way to fill their leisure time and relax. It’s important to reinforce these values in your communications throughout the program. Walker Tracker’s most successful programs include highly-involved admins who make the effort to provide consistent communication to inform and encourage their members. This is why we make it easy to communicate with your members through the online portal. 


These are just a few strategies to consider. Share in the comments below what strategies have you used to increase your wellness program’s recruitment?