Too often, wellness program managers give up on a service after a lukewarm response. Instead of learning from shortcomings we turn in a different direction, trying to avoid any similar situation. That’s often a mistake — there’s a lot to learn from what went wrong. Here are some questions to ensure the second time is a charm by learning from the first attempt:
Finally, if you’ve got a good service and you know it, don’t give up. Hard work and fine tuning can make it a success, but only if you stick with it.
Whenever you can, use a number in a program name or promotion. Examples: Walk 4 Today, 5 on 5, Health 4 the Holidays, 5 A Day, 6 Weeks to Wellness. Numbers stick — they're concrete and easy to understand. And a numeral can create a visual, branding impact that’s harder to achieve with words or symbols. Motel 6 and 7-11 have nothing to do with a $6 stay or a convenience store that’s open from 7 AM to 11 PM. But the identification is strong.
Some health promotion examples:
You get the idea. For your next program or promotion, take 30 minutes to brainstorm how you can build numbers into the equation.
Occasionally we get to work with a newly formed wellness committee or expanded professional staff to launch or push their programming to another level. One of the first questions we ask is: “What’s the #1 cause of stress in your organization?” The responses aren’t always unanimous, but there are usually no more than 3 answers — regardless of the group’s size.
Depending on the stressors, and their intensity, we explain it may not be realistic to start a new wellness initiative until the problems are resolved. The reason: stress is a demotivator. If people are down about things happening in the organization, it’s a stretch to believe they’ll get excited about your health promotion efforts, no matter how dazzling.
Here then are the most common stressors we hear and why you should work to reduce, eliminate, or at least acknowledge them while attempting to build your wellness program:
A good wellness program will never cure the ills of a poorly run organization. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you recognize any of these demotivators at your workplace, do what you can to change them — first within your own department, then among others.
If you don’t have an upper management champion who believes in you and your purpose, try to get one soon. Share employee perceptions and testimonials, along with your ideas for eliminating demotivators. As the stress subsides, interest in your health enhancement efforts will go up.