by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

An easy way to boost the number of men involved in wellness activities is to design programs around sports themes. The NFL playoffs, holiday bowl games, and the Super Bowl are great opportunities to sponsor single events or month-long campaigns. Some ideas:

  • Chalk Talk. Hold a series of brown bag lunch sessions on sports/health-related topics marketed directly to men. Recruit local college or professional trainers and team dietitians to talk about nutrition and exercise. 

Image of Desiree at Dowell Notice Board

Let’s go south of the equator to the state of Victoria in Australia, where a small manufacturer of timber and aluminum windows/doors improved productivity as well as remarkably reduced high-risk chronic disease, absenteeism, turnover, and injury. As of 2013, their estimated 3-year ROI was $1,226,743 (Aus).
The Victorian Department of Health (DH) supported this initiative as part of their extensive portfolio of services. Desiree Terrill works for EACH Health Promotion, funded by DH to improve the health and well-being of Victorians in the Maroondah municipality. “Peter Ruzyla (EACH CEO) and Maggie Palmer (EACH Health Promotion Manager) task us with finding unique partnership opportunities among Australian worksites. We look at the settings in which employees operate, then dedicate resources to target specific health and productivity outcomes based on the 2010 World Health Organisation Healthy Workplace framework.”

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Image of legs running

As the holidays approach, it’s a good idea to reflect on the past year and consider what lies ahead in 2015. To accomplish all you aspire to, both personally and professionally, take these steps:

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

An unfortunate side effect of best practice, paint-by-numbers wellness programming is the dearth of experiments occurring in the industry. Wellness vendors squeezed by consultants reading off a checklist of me-too services can’t afford to stray off script because margins are so tight. The result is a bland landscape of programs with eerily similar online wellness platforms at the core. And while each vendor claims to be different, better, more effective, a check under the hood reveals greater differences in marketing than in actual services between one provider and the next or the next.

If these same yet different services were actually enhancing health, boosting productivity, and keeping a lid on healthcare expense, there would be no need to experiment. But outside a handful of states, primarily in the western US, overall health and quality of life aren’t improving in any measurable way. Unless your organization’s wellness program is the rare exception, you probably have a long way to go as well.