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Thesis Chapter 1 Sample | Dissertation Introduction Sample

EMPLOYEE WELLNESS AND PARTICIPATION IN AN ON-SITE WORKPLACE GYM

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Executive Summary

The study focuses on how organizations tend to promote the health and wellness of their employees by encouraging the workers to engage in physical activities while at work. Most of the companies use facilities such as gyms as a way of promoting wellness. Furthermore, this pilot study investigates the employees’ willingness to participate on the wellness programs. The knowledge from this study will help businesses understand their employees better and come up with wellness initiatives that cut across the workers. A literature review was previously conducted for the first doctoral research project. This project moves on from the literature review to the study’s methodology section addressing the research design of the pilot study prior to conducting the main study.  The following report will explain the selection of the research topic, the research design, specifically for designing a pilot study on the chosen research topic, the philosophical basis for the study, and the related methods for carrying out the study.  In addition, ethical considerations will also be addressed.

1.0 Introduction

This pilot study focuses on investigating employee wellness by examining the willingness of employees to participate in wellness organisational programs initiated to promote the health and wellness of employees. In this study, the program being considered is an on-site workplace gym. This is because most organisations have been considered to invest in and use gym facilities to boast employees’ fitness through exercises contributing to employees’ wellness while at work. The study will investigate the reasons why employees choose to participate or not participate for the wellness program at the on-site workplace gym.

It has become a norm for organizations to adopt a work-based wellness program to promote employees health.  It is argued that the workplace presents an opportunity for successfully promoting employee health and well being which has further been linked to the improvement of work-related outcomes to those employees who are captive audience of such programs. As such, it is suggested that businesses take a focused approach to this challenge of adopting a work-based wellness program.  However, there is evidence of low participation rates, with approximately half of the workforce not participating in organisational wellness initiatives. Besides, it is suggested that only a quarter of employees consistently use an on-site workplace gym. For this reason, it can be argued that the issue of promoting employee health and wellness through the addition of an on-site workplace gym may not be an overall effective solution of increasing employees’ physical activity and improving their health.

Although, some employees may request for the installation of an on-site workplace gym, it has been shown that employees can have low interest to participate in gyms’ physical activities. Despite it being linked to positive work-related outcomes, others have argued that this may not always be the case and not all employees will be willing to participate, demonstrating a more complex issue. This creates a challenge for organisations who consider investing in an on-site workplace gym to find ways to motivate employee participation. 

Participation is crucial in order for both employee and employer to realise the benefits of improvements in employee wellness, or in work-related outcomes. However, there is limited research specifically exploring on employees’ reasons for participation or non participation in organisational wellness programs and the contributing factors. Only one study, Edmunds et al. (2013), addresses employee’s reasons for non-participation.  As a result, this leaves a gap in the literature on the topic.  As the issue being presented in this study is more complex, it brings about the need for a further exploration into the reasons that may contribute to employee participation or non-participation in organisational wellness programs such as the on-site workplace gym. 

The literature review was based on the researcher’s interest in the topic of employee wellness and exercise as a way of promoting employee health.  In order to fill the gap in the literature the current pilot project was designed to explore this topic further. The study will provide important knowledgeable information that organisations looking to invest in an on-site workplace gym can use to understand employees participation in such a program, in order to be at a better position of making investment decisions on such an organisational wellness program. Through information provided by this study, business and organisations can develop wellness initiatives that engage the majority of their employees. The following section presents the research question addressed by the pilot study.

1.1Research Question

While planning the pilot study, and in discussion with supervision, it was established that further refinement of the research question, aim, and objectives was needed after the initial question used during the literature review.  The refined research question formulated by the researcher that will guide the pilot study is as follows:

What are the main reasons for employee participation or non-participation in an on-site workplace gym?              

1.2Aims and objectives

The pilot study mainly aims to investigate why employees, participate or do not participate in an on-site workplace gym as an organisational employee wellness program.

The research aim will be achieved through the following set of objectives:

  • To establish the main reasons of employee participation and non-participation in the on-site gym workplace gym.
  • To investigate the employees’ perspectives regarding the benefits of participation or non-participation in an onsite workplace gym.
  • To establish the barriers that hinder participations of employees in an onsite workplace gym.
  • To examine the employees perspectives on organization support to participate in the on-site workplace gym.
  • To examine whether participation or non-participation has had an impact on their physical wellness.
  • To examine whether participation or non-participation has had an impact on their psychological wellness.
  • To examine whether participation or non-participation has had an impact on their work-related outcomes

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