The 4 Ps of Modern Wellness Programs

Marketers are familiar with the 4 Ps of marketing — price, product, promotion, and place. Today’s best-in-class well-being programs have their own set of Ps to guide design and execution — purpose, pride, partnership, personalization. Let’s take a closer look at each.


Reducing risk and lowering healthcare costs are not driving today’s top well-being efforts; purpose is. While better health and lower costs are an important side benefit, today’s leading organizations recognize that helping employees find purpose and meaning in work is the key to attracting and retaining talent. And a population who finds meaning and purpose in work is essential to long-term growth as well as profitability. Well-being programs designed to strengthen emotional, social, and career fitness — along with physical health — have greater value to employees and the organization.


Everyone wants to be recognized for their contribution. They want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger regarding their work. The desire for the same sense of community is true when it comes to well-being. A wellness program that reinforces the feeling everyone’s aiming for a great place to work, where all can reach full potential personally and professionally, helps create a sense of pride. It can be an organization’s best recruitment and retention tool. 


Top wellness programs have long acknowledged that employee health is a shared responsibility. We can’t expect overweight employees to achieve and maintain a healthy weight in a cake culture (employee-supplied treats for every occasion), for example. Conversely, well-being managers know that employees spend less than 1/3 of their waking hours at work, so 2/3 of their health choices take place elsewhere. Reinforce the responsibility employer and employee share. The employer provides resources and an environment for healthy choices, but it’s up to the individual to follow through. This partnership mindset of accountability is your best chance for success.


It’s a hot topic in well-being circles today, particularly as its relates to machine learning and AI. Some experts suggest the technology of learning and interpreting preferences will lead to automated, personalized interventions more likely to trigger action that improves well-being. Maybe, some day. But today, the marketing hype exceeds practical application. What top wellness managers have known and leveraged for some time is that individuals like choice (some, but not a lot). Letting participants decide the type, timing, duration, and method of an intervention to fit their schedule and lifestyle leads to greater engagement and longer-term behavior change.


Tell us about your success in any of the 4 Ps above so we can share it with our readers. Send us a snippet at editor@staging.hesonline.com.

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