A recent study published in the Industrial Relations Journal, and written up across the Internet this week, challenges whether company-introduced wellness programs that promise mental and physical rejuvenation for their hardworking staff actually have a positive impact. . 

With all due respect, we think the study and the related articles come up short in at least one critical aspect in their critique of these aspirational wellness programs, as they fail to mention   the role communication plays in a successful wellness program. Let’s dig a little deeper on what could actually be behind this counterintuitive finding.

The study mentioned in the article makes a bold statement: employees participating in workplace wellness offerings (with the exception of volunteering) are no better off than colleagues who did not participate. But what if those employees- especially frontline employees- don't even know about the wellness offerings? It's like throwing a feast in a grand hall for ALL of your employees, yet your workers in the fields continue to toil away, as they are completely unaware of the delicious aromas wafting around. How can we expect people to participate in programs they know nothing about?

Here's the deal: effective communication isn't just an accessory to wellness programs; it's a fundamental pillar. At goHappy, we see firsthand the power of informed decisions. Our data shows that when employees are aware and engaged, their participation skyrockets.

Digging deeper, the study doesn't consider the possibility that wellness programs could be bridging the gap for those who struggle, and helping level the playing field with those who choose not to participate. Maybe wellness initiatives are more like wings, propelling individuals toward equilibrium they might not have reached otherwise.

The article also overlooks the intangible benefits that can't be neatly measured. Peer support, resilience, group dynamics, and the amazing sense of community are the unsung heroes of wellness events. They create a support network that scholarly studies often miss but that deeply impacts the lives of those involved.

So, how do we ensure a comprehensive understanding of wellness programs? There's no magic fix, but we have a prescription that works wonders: tailored communication and sustained engagement. By strategically sharing information, extending relevant and timely personal invitations, and curating exclusive content, we can transform wellness programs from anonymous concepts to personalized tailwinds for individual growth.

Let's not allow this study to cast a shadow over the sunny harbors that wellness programs aspire to be and are to many. Instead, let's see it as a call to arms - a gentle nudge to infuse these programs with the boundless vigor of inclusion, equity, and empowerment. Wellness is not just about treadmills and sleep apps; it's about creating a web of well-being that is accessible and vibrant for all.

In conclusion, let's embrace this rebuttal as a shimmering reminder that the journey to well-being is not a solitary trek; it's a collective dance under the luminous ballroom of communication, understanding, and community.