As with anything worth doing, analysis of success and failure is important.
When it comes to improving your health, refining the process is key to landing on an approach that works for each individual. Even with a strategy and following a plan, you learn things along the way that help you get to a better approach once you take the time to gather information and reflect on the outcomes.
So it is with corporate wellness. Companies set out to offer programs for their employees because they know a healthy bottom line can often be traced to a heathy workforce.
Those who are working on their first wellness challenge start by creating a plan, with a success matrix and a fudge factor built in for the employees who drop out of the program. In previous articles, we’ve discussed how that plan evaluates the needs of participants, determines the program, and is rolled out to the team. At the end, most send out a survey to see the results… are they the results you and your employees were hoping for?
Plans are important, but a good plan will always contain a consistent feedback loop. It’s the best way to determine that the course of action being taken is addressing the problem.
Here’s what we recommend at Summerfield:
- Establish a method that allows for continual feedback. Gather data throughout the program, not just a survey at the end. Use this information to be sure you’re appropriately targeting your employee base. Take note of drop outs and be sure you learn what prompted them to quit.
- Host one-on-one meetings at the beginning and the end. Be sure to hold these meetings in a private room, as you will take body measurements, record a start weight and get a body fat reading. Determine current minutes of activity and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Use this opportunity to get to know their personalities and what motivates them to get healthy. Set goals with them – find a realistic improvement, not a reach beyond their capability.
- Gather the group and host a “town hall.” Start the program with a town hall; end it with a town hall. This group approach helps participants know they’re not working alone, that there are other colleagues who need support. Think of it as a focus group, but less structured; you’re still looking to collect the same kind of information. Ask about desired outcomes and address any fears.
- Customize your plan for this particular group. Align your recently gathered insights into your offerings. Remember, most people don’t know what they need and they really don’t know what will work. Let them know going in that everyone is different and there will be some trial and error, but the challenge puts in place activities that meet the greatest number of shared goals for this group.
- Compare success in different challenges. Learn what has worked in other challenges and use that information to customize for the people that opt in. That’s what leads to success for your corporate wellness goals and for your employees.
Sound complicated? It is.
Again, anything worth doing is worth doing right. That’s why we’ve made a business of wellness. We’d be happy to work with you to assure you’re offering successful, refined wellness challenges that meet the needs of your employee base.
Laura Greenhow is the founder of Summerfield Custom Wellness, a Wilmington-based nutrition firm counseling employees toward a shift in health-consciousness.She and her team facilitate programs wherein healthy choices begin to come automatically and are aligned with what the body needs.They see individuals and also work with companies ranging from five to 5,000 employees as they strive for a healthier workforce and a healthier Wilmington.Laura holds a master’s degree in Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill, with clinical rotations that included New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Learn more at www.summerfieldcustomwellness.com or call (910) 663-5166.