July 30, 2013
I attended a webinar recently where the topic was best practices and how to know if your wellness program was doing the “right” things. It was a perfect illustration of how mired the industry is in the moderate successes of the past quarter century. While there have been a few modest improvements in our approach, we’re still doing just about the same things we did in 1990 — except now much of it is done online (which does increase efficiency, but not necessarily results).
So while the webinar speakers were well prepared, articulate, and clearly understood their subject, I’d seen this movie before and I found myself daydreaming… what if our industry had its own Steve Jobs or Reed Hastings? By that I mean someone without a background in health but a visionary willing to completely reinvent how we help people live healthier rather than just tinkering around the edges.
July 30, 2013
It’s probably not the case, but it sure seems that wellness professionals get saddled with some of the weakest management in many organizations. Let’s put this under Joe. After all, it’s only wellness and even he can’t screw that up. Okay, we’re exaggerating for effect, but you get the idea. Wellness is seldom under a VP on the direct path for CEO. And that’s a shame because helping people change health habits is way more challenging than improving efficiency in widget production. Wellness managers need the support of bright, energetic upper management to have any hope of affecting health and quality of life.
So before you accept your next wellness job offer, be sure you’ve done due diligence on your prospective boss and the team you’re about to join. Some questions to ask during the interview process:
July 24, 2013
July 16, 2013
If you’ve been a coach, teacher, parent of a teenager (I’ve been all of these), or anyone else whose job it is to “motivate” others to do something, you know that applying external forces (rewards, punishment, threats) can be quite effective in many instances — in the short term. But if you want your athletes, students, kids, or employees to be their best at whatever the task is, ultimately they have to want to do it for themselves. Somehow in the last decade that very simple, universally true concept has been lost on many health promoters.
What began as an enticement (cash or gift cards) to get more people to complete a health risk appraisal has morphed into elaborate systems of financial rewards/penalties for wellness participation and then, ultimately, outcomes (get healthy… or else). But the wasted money is the least expensive part of this failed experiment. The true cost of making something as deeply personal as health choices about money is a culture where it’s more difficult for people to want to do something good for themselves (just tell me what I need to do to get the money).