Situational Leadership in Health Promotion

October 08, 2014

by Paul Terry   StayWell Health Management profile on LinkedIn  

Group of co-workers displaying leadership

Leaders have a bias for action, but are prudent about fitting the directions they offer to the situation at hand. As father of scientific management Frederick Taylor observed, leaders will inevitably be ineffective without ready followers. Readiness in management parlance relates to an employee’s demonstrated ability and willingness to do the work as directed.

Taylor noted how effective leaders are able to elicit high “task behavior” using a blend of autocratic and democratic styles. Carl Rogers was a contemporary of Taylor who revolutionized concepts of “relationship behavior;” it is the interdependence of these 2 concepts that led to the study of situational leadership.


Wellness Participants Need a Community, Not a Network

September 30, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

In the early days of our online wellness campaigns we built in teams, buddies, and other social features — knowing that getting people to interact online would carry over offline for support and encouragement. Interestingly, many organizations asked us to turn off social features for fear employees would “waste” too much time. Fast-forward to 2014… clients can’t get enough of these same social features, plus integration with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and the rest. Has the pendulum swung too far? Yes.


We Have Enough Wellness Ideas

September 30, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

One of the biggest wastes of time in wellness is group brainstorming. It sounds democratic; the theory goes that a person can build on another’s good idea and so on. But too often the loudest voice or the biggest title wins. Then half-baked ideas get parceled out to unlucky staffers who struggle to make heads or tails of something that emerged from a flawed process.

When you get right down to it, do you really have a shortage of ideas anyway? Don’t you have more ideas for wellness programming than you can possibly develop as it is? Yet we continue to solicit new ideas with every group interaction and survey. Why? Because it’s easy.


7 Deadly Wellness Management Mistakes

September 17, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

When it comes to health management decisions, sound business practices sometimes get tossed in favor of opinion or the way we think things ought to be. Common wellness management mistakes to avoid:

  • Going it alone. If you’re a department of 1 it’s critical to have continuous feedback from other managers and participants. And even fully staffed programs need systems in place to get constant input from outside the 4 walls.
  • Under/over-testing. Some health promoters do no testing — rolling out programs with their fingers crossed — while others suffer from analysis paralysis. Seek a balance, where you feel you have a good chance for success, but don’t try to wait until it’s “guaranteed.”