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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.

   

Better Together: Workplace Wellness + EAP

August 01, 2014


Better Together: Workplace Wellness + EAP

It’s an ordinary day at work, and Jason can’t keep his eyes open. Between looking for a care facility for his mother, working a side job to pay off debt, and family obligations with his wife and kids, he’s burning the candle at both ends. He’s sedentary and could stand to lose 20 pounds, but is he excited about your wellness program? Hardly… a wellness challenge sounds like one more thing to do, and he doesn’t have the energy.

   

24% of Workers Don’t Trust Their Employers...

July 22, 2014

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Have I Got a Wellness Program for You

When I read that stat from the American Psychological Association’s Work and Well-Being Survey my reaction was… Yikes! So every fourth person you pass in the hall is not a candidate for your wellness program. After all, if the employer is providing this service and I don’t trust my employer, will I sign up for a health screening? Uh, no. Health coaching? Nope. Risk appraisal? Certainly not. Wellness challenge? Hmmm…

It says here that no one from the company will have access to my personal data — yeah, right. And the only thing I’m recording is my physical activity. Not my weight? Not my blood pressure? Not my cholesterol? Not how much I drink? This doesn’t seem so bad… Joe and the guys on second shift are doing it. Maybe I’ll give this a try…