We’ve all heard the saying, “Everything old is new again.” After nearly 20 years in the wellness industry, I think this couldn’t be more true. I believe a return to a human connection is the key to a successful wellness program.
When I started HealthWorks in 1999, I was a one-woman show. Literally. I had a handful of clients and I was the face of HealthWorks and their wellness efforts. I hand-delivered results and marketing materials and scheduled every screeing appointment (there were no online appointment schedulers back then). This was well before the age of portals and platforms, texting and email campaigns. I knew my clients and could explain wellness activities and results in person. While I wouldn’t want to go back to the “old days” (there are too many great new and exciting tools out there that make wellness fun and attainable in so many different ways!), I do believe that tools are just that: tools. They won’t make a wellness program or guarantee engagement. Personalization of activities and a human connection will make the difference. Here are some tips for bringing this element back to your well-being initiatives:
- Slice & Dice Your Data – we comb through trending data from each of our clients to analyze current wellness initiatives and adjust where needed. This also allows us to target efforts to specific populations to combat a specific health risk or high claims area.
- Know Your Audience – wellness initiatives that work for a manufacturing setting might not work in a corporate work place or a school system. For example, are you dealing with different shifts, where having a lunch and learn might be impossible, but a wellness “briefing” at a monthly meeting might be a better option?
- Learn Communication Preferences – and offer them! Not everyone wants to be communicated to in the same way. Find out what those preferences are and make them available. Some messages might be best posted on paper in a break room or mailed home, others might be best communicated via email or text.
- Meet People Where They Are – the best way to find out if people ate truly ready for making healthy changes is to talk to them. We accomplish this through health coaching sessions using a Lifestyle-Wellness Coaching Model and motivational interviewing.
- Don’t Underestimate the Importance of ‘Boots on the Ground’ – the key to engagement is the human connection. We like to call it ‘boots on the ground.’ An actual person to help guide participants through wellness initiatives. This can be in the form of an onsite Wellness Champion, a wellness coordinator, or even an onsite nurse or wellness professional.
Questions? Contact HealthWorks at firstname.lastname@example.org