Why don’t people participate? –ScienceDaily

Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) programs are designed to help identify and address health and lifestyle issues, and are offered by 40-75% of employers in Europe and the United States. United. But research suggests that a high proportion (50-75%) of workers do not participate. Why are so many employees choosing not to participate? Toker, Heaney, and Ein-Gar investigated the reasons for non-participation and identified a variety of barriers, as published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology.

According to the World Health Organization, workplaces are “one of the priority places for promoting health in the 21st century”. Previous studies suggest that PST programs can improve employee health, providing important physiological, behavioral, and work-related benefits. However, the success of these programs is limited by high non-participation rates.

Toker, Heaney and Ein-Gar surveyed 1,926 university employees who had been invited to participate in a two-stage WHP program. The first step was an online Health Risk Assessment (HRA) questionnaire, for which participating employees received an incentive payment of US$150. This step had to be taken to move on to the second step, a health education workshop.

The researchers focused on five employee characteristics and beliefs (“implicit barriers” to participation): age, gender, job position, perceived personal health, and perceived organizational commitment to employee health. employees. They also considered “explicit barriers,” that is, employee-reported reasons for not participating (eg, lack of time, low expectations). Moreover, they linked the two types of barriers to better understand the decision-making processes of non-participants.

Resource Conservation Theory (COR) was used as a framework. COR is about how individuals try to conserve and protect the things they value, such as time, energy, and access to information. If these resources are threatened, individuals aim to minimize losses. In the case of a WHP program, non-participation can be seen as a reduction in the loss of resources or as a response to low expectations of resource gain.

The study found a range of reasons for non-participation. In general, men, employees in lower professional positions, and employees in poor health tended to withdraw from both stages of the PVT program. Non-participation in the first stage — the questionnaire — was more common among older employees and employees who perceived the organization as unengaged, while in the second stage — the workshop — non-participation. -participation was more common among younger employees and those who were not interested in making lifestyle changes.

Toker, Heaney, and Ein-Gar conclude, “Our findings suggest that organizations should not only pay attention to the potential gains that WHP programs offer, but should also identify resources that are at risk and minimize their actual and perceived potential loss. “

The main practical implication is that PST programs must be tailored to specific groups of employees. This could include tailoring communication channels to particular types of employees to ensure full awareness of programs. Employees’ fears about confidentiality when completing the online questionnaire could be resolved by reassuring them of anonymity. Having a designated health educator could help encourage participation from employees who need the program the most (i.e. those with impaired health) but who are less likely to participate.

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