Organizational-level determinants of participation in workplace health promotion programs: a cross-company study

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


Background: Attracted by the expected benefits such as reduced absenteeism and increased productivity, more and more firms decide to implement workplace health promotion programs (WHPPs). However, those programs can only be effective if employees actually participate. This study aims to (1) gain insight into the degree of enrolment rates in such programs across companies and (2) identify organizational level factors that are associated with employee participation. Building on existing theory on organizational drivers of participation in corporate wellness programs, the study's main goal is to investigate which organizational factors determine whether employees enroll in a corporate fitness program or not. Methods: A business-to-business fitness platform company provided organizational level data on 61 client firms that have recently implemented a corporate wellness program. The data contained information on the enrolment rate per company and different organizational level variables. The following potential determinants of participation were analyzed: firm size, organizational program support and employee co-payment. A random effects model was used to examine associations between potential determinants and the program enrolment rate. Results: The average participation is limited (15.37%) but varies highly across companies (range 0.07-100.00%, monthly basis). Looking at the determinants of program enrolment, we find that organizational program support - the degree to which firm leadership encourages participation - positively influences the enrolment rate (β = 0.051 p <0.001) while employee co-payment - the financial contribution employees have to make to participate - has a negative impact (β = - 0.002, p <0.001). Furthermore, firm size has a negative relationship with firm enrolment. Conclusions: Enrolment rates in WHPPs are limited, as many companies have difficulties to promote participation in WHPPs among employees. Strong organizational program support and low employee co-payment were identified as drivers of employee participation in corporate health programs. Hence, intensifying both social and financial support of employee participation may help to drive enrolment rates. Firm size was found to negatively affect the enrolment rate in WHPPs, implying that larger firms have to account for their size and corresponding complexity when implementing such a program.
ZeitschriftBMC Public health
Seiten (von - bis)268
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 06.03.2019

Fachgebiete und Schlagwörter

  • Employee participation
  • Implementation effectiveness
  • Organization level determinants
  • Physical activity
  • Workplace health promotion


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