by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

A decade ago a prestigious law firm client of Health Enhancement Systems was concerned… as they launched an online health improvement program, they wanted to confirm the security of our approach to handling confidential information. After thoroughly reviewing our systems, they agreed to implement the program. On launch day we sent a broadcast email to their organization promoting the program and inviting employees to register by clicking a link in the email. Unfortunately, the link directed them to a different client’s website.

Naturally, neither client was pleased with the error but, as you might expect, the law firm employees were especially concerned with confidentiality given the mistake on their first encounter with the program. The good news: neither client’s data was compromised in any way; the bad news: we had to convince them of that — and fast! Here’s what we did:

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

We’ve a saying at Health Enhancement Systems: People buy with their eyes, but they become repeat clients/participants based on their experience. In other words, to attract interest and excitement for a product or service it has to look good, but that only works once. If the user doesn’t have an awesome experience with your offering, you’re going to have a hard time attracting them again. And awesome experiences are the result of design thinking, not just how pretty something looks.

What Is Design Thinking?

It starts with the desired outcome. In worksite wellness that translates into improved population health or well-being. That’s a big nut to crack. But if you approach it like other great designers of complex products or systems (think Apple, Amazon, Facebook) with a single end-user in mind, the job becomes less daunting: How do we design everything we do around the end goal of creating an environment where individual health improvement can happen?

Achieving great participant experiences requires design thinking by everyone on your team from ease of use and utility of your wellness portal, to quality of your education programs, to the way people answer the phone. Here’s how to get started.

Employee Wellbeing Flies High With Delta Air Lines.

When studying the corporate culture of highly successful workplace wellness programs, one striking similarity is commitment to doing the right thing for employees. This is certainly true of Delta Air Lines.


According to Jae Kullar, Manager of Health and Wellbeing, “In 1929, our founder, C.E. Woolman, created a list of guiding principles that later became known as Delta’s Rules of the Road. These principles still reign true today and are used as a guidebook for all Delta employees, defining the company’s basic core values of honesty, integrity, respect, staying competitive, and leadership. These guidelines are reflected by senior management’s corporate goal of investing in our culture through wellness. We live and work by these rules and pride ourselves on building a strong network of support for each other and our community. The evolution of the wellness movement was a natural fit into how we’ve always done business.”


Wellness Leaders Make the Difference


Jae took on the new role in December 2013. “We already had a cadre of 200 wellness champions in place with a personal interest in the program and a willingness to help increase coworker participation. One of the first things I did was add a leadership layer, drawn from each major division, I can contact directly. In addition to organizing their champions, these leaders develop an action plan and calendar to move our goals forward. Depending on available resources, they may develop their own initiatives and programs that complement the corporate plan. For example, one leader is passionate about healthier options in vending machines, so he spearheads that project. We have another interested in promoting men’s health, so we have an entire campaign growing from her efforts.” Jae is extremely proud of the results.