7 ways to screw up your office massage program - a light bulb being shattered in to pieces

7 Ways to Screw Up Your Corporate Chair Massage Program

Amelia Wilcox
December 16, 2015
October 9, 2022

The last thing you want in your mission to de-stress your employees is to accidentally make things worse. Check out this list of 7 things to avoid for your office massage program to run smoothly.  

Is it possible to screw up a corporate chair massage program?

Oh, you betcha.

See if there's something you can learn from other companies' mistakes.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Office Chair Massage

Mistake #1: Don't research your massage company

Why this is a mistake: There are a lot of massage companies out there -- we've checked. And to be honest, they're all over the place when it comes to their office massage programs.

If it's your company's first time with an office massage program, you probably have lots of questions. It might be easy to fall into the hands of a massage company that doesn't have your best interest in mind. Research your massage company to make sure you'll get the kind of program you want.

Mistake #2: Ask your employees to pay for it

Why this is a mistake: While it may seem like a simple way to cut costs on a massage program, this approach will backfire. We've seen it happen. More than a few times. There is a very different experience on the employees' side if they're paying for their own massage, then if their company is providing it as a benefit.

While massage programs can work great with a cost-split arrangement, anything that puts too much expectation on the employee won't build morale the way managers hope.

Related: Office Massage Services: Can Employees Pay?

Mistake #3: Don't get input from employees

Why this is a mistake: Any change you make to your employees' work life has got to match the culture. If it doesn't, it will be a miss. This doesn't mean you're stuck with whatever company culture you have. There are ways to improve your work culture.

But you can't go from zero to sixty with one program. If employees are used to a cold and unfeeling management team, they may be skeptical about a sudden new morale-boosting program like workplace massage.

Related: The Culture of Company Culture [infographic]

Getting everyone involved to say a big YES to a new initiative is key. So your first step is to do a little research into your own people. Learn what drives your employees and what makes them happy to come to work. Once they're on-board with the idea of workplace massage, you can move forward.  

office massage program

Mistake #4: Wait until it's too late

Why this is a mistake: When employees are leaving faster than you can hire new ones, it's a symptom of a bad workplace culture. This is not the time to start a new program.

As much as we love corporate chair massage, we'll admit it's not going to fix every company's problem, every time. Especially when a company has more problems than they know what to do with.

Related: 4 Little Changes That'll Make a Big Difference with Your Company Culture

Mistake #5: Use unlicensed therapists

Why this is a mistake: The licensing process that massage therapists go through ensure they know what they're doing. Using properly educated and licensed therapists for office massage means you'll be getting knowledgeable, high-quality work.

Not only is it illegal to practice massage therapy without a license, but there are health code standards that all licensed massage therapists will fully comply with. Using a massage company that takes care of this for you makes this part easy.

Related: Massage at Work: Top 10 Questions Answered

Mistake #6: Limit your massage hours

Why this is a mistake: If an office massage program isn't accessible to all your workers, prepare yourself for a revolt. Just because Thursdays at 10:00 am works best for most employees doesn't mean everyone can take part. And those who are left out will feel more stressed than ever.

Stagger your massage hours or days in a way that meets everyone's needs. You don't want anyone to get left out because of a scheduling snafu. Find a massage company that will be able to cater to your office massage needs, any time of the day or night.

Related: In-Office Massage for 24-Hour Facilities: What About the Night Shift?

Mistake #7: Save it for special occasions

Why this is a mistake: Don't get me wrong, we've seen a lot of companies have success with quarterly massage days as a treat for employees, or at the office Christmas party. But when it comes to getting some real ROI on your massage program, the more frequent it is, the better. Studies show that a weekly 15-minute massage makes employees more focused, less stressed, and more likely to stick with a company long-term. How's that for ROI?

Related: Real ROI on Corporate Wellness: HR Experts Weigh In

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Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement. Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.