by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

The new release of classic fairytale Cinderella reminds us that wellness sometimes gets little attention compared to other employee benefits. While health insurance and paid vacation aren’t the equivalent of Anastasia and Drizella, wellness managers need to remember we’re competing for budgets, time, and attention. So if you want to wear the glass slipper, you can’t wait for the Fairy Godmother to make an appearance — you have to take steps yourself to be invited to the ball. Here’s how:

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Each week I get 5-15 requests to connect with someone on LinkedIn. In almost every instance, the only commonality is we work in health or wellness. That’s not enough to make a meaningful connection.

Of course if your goal is bragging rights for how many connections you can amass, keep them coming. But if you want to create a network that offers definite value, get ready to do some actual work. Here’s how:

by Beth Shepard   Beth's profile on LinkedIn  

Women's Heart Health

Over the summer, my husband, Jim, was once again given a choice by his employer. He could complete an online health risk assessment and health screening (bloodwork, waist circumference, and blood pressure), then share this data with a designated wellness vendor — or forfeit our family’s access to the employer-sponsored health plan of our choice.

That’s right. He could decline, but then our health insurance premiums would go up — significantly. Like many families, we already struggle with high healthcare expenses. So participating in the “wellness” program didn’t feel like much of a choice for Jim. It was more like being backed into a corner to avoid a financial penalty… hardly a reward for being a hard-working, longtime employee.

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Sometime between your first and fourth year in wellness you ran a program, health fair, screening, or other event that was wildly successful. For the next 1 to 4 years you rode the wave until eventually the interest in that service declined, participation fell off, and it was put to pasture. What happened?

This all-too-familiar scenario reinforces the belief among wellness managers that programs, like people, follow a predictable pattern — they’re born, they grow, they mature, they get old, and they die. When participation trails off, they get lower emphasis. With less attention, participation declines further, until the decision is made to discontinue the service altogether.