by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Loyal participants are the best recruiters of new well-being program participants. Here’s how you can start building loyalty today:

 

  • Set high expectations. Many wellness managers think they’re doing participants a favor by adjusting down their goals. Not so (view the SlideShare Small Steps: A Good Start, But Not Enough). Big, yet realistic goals are a lot more motivating than wimpy ones that are easily attained but fail to have a big impact. 
  • Communicate continuously. Ratchet up your message and keep it high until it stops getting responses — then shift to another message. Participants want to feel they belong to something and know you care about them.
  • Empower. This buzzword is over-used because it’s true. Explain to participants there’s help if they need it, and they have access to resources, but they’re in charge of their health. Ultimately, only they can decide and act on what’s best. 
  • Invest in them. Spend time getting to know participants as individuals, not just risk profiles or interest surveys. For some participants, that’s all it takes to keep them going.
  • Recognize often. Everyone appreciates approval and confirmation. Acknowledge the process as well as the outcome for continued commitment to your program. And don’t throw a lot of money into it or you risk having a negative impact (view the SlideShare Why You Should Never Spend More Than $19 on Recognition). 
  • Counsel regularly. Schedule periodic progress sessions, review documentation of their efforts, and make adjustments in your recommendations. Participants want to feel you’re working with them to achieve the goal.
  • Educate them. Although there’s health information everywhere, if you’ve done the first 6 steps, participants will turn to you for details and advice on a lot more health issues. Be prepared to provide it.

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