We make our living selling wellness campaigns. And lots of our referrals come through wellness consultants/vendors. So it’s not without reservation that we advise our customers and prospects to do their own homework. What if another vendor has a newer, shinier whatchamacallit that we don’t? What if they do choose another service provider? What if they love that provider and never come back?
If you’re a vendor and such questions keep you up at night, you’ve bigger problems than these. If you’re a buyer, relying solely on what your current vendor partners and consultants are saying, you may get lucky. But there’s a good chance you’re missing out on significant opportunity; here’s why:
If your main purpose for hiring a consultant is so you can abdicate responsibility for the choices you make, there’s no need to read on. But if your goal really is to serve your organization with the best wellness program model and services, here’s what you can gain by doing some of the heavy lifting:
This is a lot of work. But do you want to do it over again in a year, or even 3 years? Total vetting and thorough due diligence up front mean you’re far less likely to have to start over when the current contract runs out. Even more important, it means you’ve hired the best partner for you and your employees to achieve your well-being goals.
Just a quick note of appreciation for participating in XYZ wellness program last year. I hope you’re continuing to achieve your well-being goals.
As we begin the new year, I’d like to invite you to help us do a better job of meeting your needs. If you have suggestions for improving our programs/services or anything we can do to support your healthy lifestyle, please call me.
A small minority of political pollsters and pundits predicted Donald Trump would win the presidential election. Even some right-leaning commentators suggested a cakewalk for Hillary Clinton. And then, the election happened…
I’ve been studying, writing about, and creating products for workplace wellness since 1992. And if the 2016 election taught me nothing else, it showed me I don’t know anything about anything. So I’m doing some serious reflection on positions I’ve held firmly for the last quarter century.
What I thought I knew about wellness programming…
What I thought I knew about us…
Looking to 2017 and Beyond
As the new year gets underway, I’m not going to simply change my thinking about what I thought I knew (unlike politicians who bash opponents relentlessly for over a year then change their stance overnight). But I am going to keep searching for what motivates participants and try to find:
In the meantime, I’ll continue to advocate for workplace well-being that focuses on aligning organization goals and values with individual needs and wants. I’ll write about creating programs and services that strive to support autonomy, competence, and connection. And I’ll continue to lead Health Enhancement Systems in creating and delivering services that people want to be a part of because they’re challenging, fun, social, and contribute to health and quality of life.
What will you do?
Those words sting just a little bit. But the wellness director for a 5000-employee company — participating on a recent panel discussion in Washington DC — meant it. Sitting in the back of the conference hall, my mood alternated between anger at shady colleagues and frustration with wellness service consultants and buyers.
Just as with presidential politics, some characters spin data, misrepresent facts, take situations out of context, and lie outright if they think the truthful alternative is less favorable to them in the moment. While not stated, some hide behind the excuse that everyone is doing it, so we have to make unsubstantiated claims or we’ll be left behind.
Other vendors operate under the premise that you can fool some of the people all of the time — “As long as I can hit this year’s sales numbers, that’s good enough for me” — unfulfilled promises notwithstanding. That attitude almost always catches up to you and the result is a landscape littered with companies that failed or were bought on the cheap by larger vendors.
The unfortunate result: Those vendors trying to do and say the right (accurate) thing are tainted by their less forthright brethren and end up paying for their sins. On several occasions we’ve had to clean up after the last vendor’s mess, in terms of both execution and expectations.
For their own longevity and the health of the industry, vendors need to stop spinning, misrepresenting, embellishing, or obfuscating just to get a sale. It may mean less business in the short term, but developing a reputation for making realistic projections and delivering on them means you’ll be around long after the next shiny thing comes and goes.
If you’re going to print “consultant” on your business card, do some actual consulting homework, NOT:
We know, you’re busy. And you don’t have time to become expert at all the services you need. But even so, if you don’t do some of the heavy lifting yourself, you deserve what you get.
Vendors, consultants, and buyers should all want the same thing: the best services at a fair price for the client. If all do their job to the best of their ability, buyers will be more likely to say “I believe everything my wellness vendor tells me”… and mean it.