by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

We make our living selling award-winning online wellness campaigns and have developed a successful formula for attracting new participants and keeping them involved. Our ultimate goal is to keep them engaged long enough to experience the benefit, then maintain the behavior change on their own — with a booster shot now and then.

Here’s a checklist for designing (or purchasing) your next campaign:

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Show a positive ROI for your wellness program and you’ll never need to worry about having your budget slashed or losing your job.

It makes total sense; why would a department that makes money (that’s what a positive ROI means) for the organization ever have its budget cut? Because management has never, and will never, believe it. May be a nice thing to highlight in your annual report when the company is raking in profits, but an industry downturn will shrink your wellness program faster than you can say Ron Goetzel.

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Bring in this morning’s receipt after 2 PM today and get a bakery treat for $1.

So why would Starbucks slash their bakery prices by more than half after 2 PM?

  • By mid-afternoon, we feel a lull in energy that’s countered quickly with a shot of caffeine — they know you’re likely to buy a $4 coffee if you step through the door.
  • At $1, they’re still making money on the treat and generating traffic at the slowest time of the day.
  • Even if you don’t take advantage of the offer, it makes you feel good in the moment (especially if the barista asks with a big smile if you’d like the receipt), reinforcing your allegiance to the green siren. 

Wellness managers can use this simple formula — surprise + delight + reinforce — to boost loyalty, participation, and good will that goes beyond how employees feel about your wellness program. Some ideas:

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Wellness conferences — whether local or national — can be a great way to recharge your batteries and come back to work inspired to do wonderful things. Or they can be a waste of time. Here’s how to ensure the former and prevent the latter.

  • Make sure it’s worthwhile and relevant. Easier said than done, but the best way is to call 3 or 4 people who went last year. What did they learn? Who did they meet? What have they put to use? Would they go again? Then look at the lineup of speakers, activities, vendors, and social functions. Are these people and topics that really interest you and have implications for your work? Are new faces sprinkled in with veteran presenters or does it look like the same conference from a decade ago?