You work hard to offer top-notch, engaging wellness programs and services — so why don’t more people participate… is it something you said? Maybe.
How you communicate about your workplace wellness program shapes perception — and, like it or not, perception is reality. Traditional bulletins containing just the facts are boring. Heavy-handed or patronizing messages are offputting. Instead, use lessons from self-determination theory (SDT) to carefully craft communications that appeal and inspire.
Feed the Needs
In Why We Do What We Do (Penguin, 1995), researcher Edward Deci explains SDT principles. To be self-motivated for any task, people need a sense of autonomy, competence, and interpersonal connectedness. Daniel Pink addresses some of the same concepts in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Riverhead Books, 2009). Pink points out that “only engagement can produce mastery (competence) — becoming better at something that matters.”
Design your wellness program to support autonomy, competence, and connectedness:
If you want to encourage healthier eating patterns, promote nutrition services directly, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes it’s more effective to adjust your aim toward another target. Here are some examples.
Nutrition for Men
Sustained (though slow) growth in the economy has spurred new recruitment and hiring in the last year. For more than 30 years, wellness managers have claimed worksite programs offer a recruitment advantage. Yet few programs we know have a plan for presenting services in the best light to potential/new employees; even fewer have a method to judge their effect.
Greater recruitment and hiring activity are opportunities to demonstrate added value and increase participation. Consider these steps: