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Creating a Wellness Career Worth Having

August 19, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

I left the big corporate world 20 years ago to strike out on an entrepreneurial adventure because I thought I could do some things better — and also because I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole in the Fortune 100 environment. Many bumps, bruises, and a couple of small business near-death experiences later, I can honestly say I’ve had the time of my life, and look forward each day to working with a wonderful group of dedicated, highly skilled professionals who do great work and have fun doing it.

At the same time, many of my contemporaries at large companies are hanging on, counting the days until they maximize their pension, collect their gold watch, and ride off into the sunset. It’s a little sad… these are smart people with a lot left in the tank, who played by the rules but got beaten down over the years, surviving multiple downsizing episodes and budget cuts. Yet these normal ups and downs are easier to ride out than the abrupt shifts in direction every 5 years — a rollercoaster ride of corporate life that produces emotional and psychological whiplash.

   

8 Great Ways to Boost Participation

August 19, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Ask any wellness manager about their top 3 program goals, and you’re sure to hear increase participation among them. Though other factors such as intrinsic motivation are more meaningful in the long run than simply signup numbers, here are 8 can’t-miss techniques to expand this important factor:

   

Are Online Platforms Killing Wellness?

August 05, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

A long-time client recently asked for a proposal to build an online wellness platform, with all the usual bells and whistles. We thoughtfully considered it, then respectfully declined. Saying “no” isn’t in our nature, but we have fundamental reservations about how these everything-but-the-kitchen-sink tools are used.

It’s not necessarily the platform itself — indeed, some are technologic marvels capable of delivering brilliantly conceived wellness services efficiently and affordably. And we make our living with online wellness campaigns, very often integrated with these same platforms, so it’s not without trepidation that I suggest our industry may not be using them well.

But in wellness today, there’s a perfect storm of hubris, ignorance, and hucksterism that drains budgets and produces tepid participation. Here’s why…

   

Why You Should Listen to Your Mean Participants

August 05, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Each time we create a new wellness campaign we invite clients and friends to participate in a 2- to 4-week pilot. It’s a great way to test assumptions and fine-tune a product before going to market. We expend a lot of energy soliciting feedback during and after the pilot; the input we receive helps us make the program better 100% of the time.

But on occasion we’ll get someone who is just nasty in their criticism. The natural reaction of our staff is to simply brush them off as someone who’s unhappy with life in general, unrelated to whatever minor annoyance our less-than-perfect wellness campaign may have produced. But that easy dismissal is a mistake.