REACH: Getting employees to engage in corporate wellness programs

In my last post I introduced a model called The 4R’s.  Reach, Retention, Results and ROI.  The goal of this model is to create a consistent framework for measuring the success of a wellness program.  Today I came across a fun video that illustrates the first R: Reach.

In the video below you can see a clever idea for getting people to use the stairs instead of an escalator.

The potential population that they are trying to reach with this campaign is the group exiting the subway platform each day.  As a result of making the healthy option (the stairs) more  fun, they have engaged a group of people that previously chose not to use the stairs.

Too many wellness efforts in the past have relied on soft measures of success.  A few testimonials here.  Self-reported survey data there.  You get the idea.  This may have been acceptable in early days, but today your wellness efforts are expected to help control the ever-rising health care costs we are all facing.  When you are working on your own wellness program design, try to measure actual outcomes wherever you can.  With the use of the latest technologies available to us, you should be able to generate real-time data about multiple aspects of your wellness efforts.  Each of the areas in the 4R’s model should be measured explicitly.

To continue the example from the video above, assume that 100 able-bodied people exit the subway platform each day.  That represents our total eligible population.  Before the “piano campaign” was implemented, 90 people took the escalator and 10 took the stairs. This represents a reach of 10% (10 people out of 100 possible).  Assume that after running the campaign they now have 50 people taking the stairs.  This is a reach of 50%.

In upcoming posts, I’ll be laying out examples of reach in a typical corporate workplace setting to give you some real numbers to sink your teeth into.

In the arena of corporate wellness programs, tools such as incentives, anonymous kiosks, and team challenges can all help improve the reach of a program.  We’ll talk more about ways to maximize your program’s reach as we continue our tour of the 4R’s.  And then we’ll move on to discuss what you should do once you attract a lot of people to your wellness program. It’s not enough to just get your employees signed up…you have to keep them engaged long enough to build healthy new behaviors.

Have you come up with creative ideas to improve reach in your wellness efforts?  If so, please let us know.  We are always looking to improve the world of wellness.

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