Trevor in Sales is excited about your team walking challenge; it appeals to his competitive nature and sounds like fun. Upstairs, Monica in IT is rallying her coworkers; she hopes the accountability of showing up for her team will keep her on track. And down the hall, José in Payroll is interested, but not thrilled; he feels discouraged by previous attempts at getting fit, but figures it might be worth another try.
We’d like to think people sign up for wellness programs because of something we have control over — like a really cool platform, eye-catching incentives, and irresistible marketing pieces. These extrinsic factors influence participation to an extent, but below the surface it’s the intrinsic, personal factors that inspire involvement and lasting success.
How do you effectively promote your wellness program when so many elements affect a decision to join or not join? Take a closer look; many reasons that seem unrelated share common motivational roots. Identify and tap into these behavior-change catalysts to make your program — and marketing efforts — more attractive to your target audience.
New clients always want to know the ideal length of time for a wellness campaign. It depends… on the topic, audience, time of year, frequency, previous experience with campaigns, and the goal (participation, outcomes, goodwill, etc.). Sometimes that response produces a heavy sigh on the other end of the line — they just want it to be easy.
But the dirty little secret in wellness is that changing ingrained health behaviors of individuals and populations is hard. Some wellness managers unknowingly make it even harder on themselves with programming decisions based on ease of implementation. And uninformed (or unscrupulous) vendors can make the problem much worse by offering up the “simple” solution, which really means the answer you want to hear so they get the sale. Whether the campaign has any lasting impact is secondary, if even a serious consideration at all.
We’re in the middle of vetting financial education providers for our employees; a top criterion is having a certified financial planner (CFP) paid by the hour, not by commission. The reason is simple: We don’t want an incentive to guide employees toward specific investments sold by the CFP.
We have the good fortune of working with hundreds of wellness professionals from all industries and circumstances each year and have learned which traits seem to always help the most successful stay at the top of the heap.