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May 12, 2014 | Engagement, Culture, Corporate Wellness & Benefits

Resist the Sizzle

No, I'm not talking about the sound of bacon frying on a Sunday morning as you debate rolling out of bed! (I still find that one completely useless to try and resist...but know to enjoy in moderation.) I'm talking instead about the feeling that some people have when their corporate wellness program doesn't include all the latest mobile apps, social games, and tracking gadgets that may give the illusion of "results."

I'm not suggesting there is no value in these trends, that they are not intriguing, or that some of your employees won't utilize these solutions to start bettering their health. I am suggesting, however, that attempting to please everyone, keep up with the latest technology, and man a help desk for faulty devices or incompatible software applications, may become a futile way to try and drive measurable and sustainable behavior change.

These products have their place in the toolkit. So do nutrition plans, health seminars, magazine articles, fitness plans, health coaches, personal physicians, and even self-control. We believe that shared accountability for the cost of healthcare fuels personal accountability for one's health. As a person's sense of accountability increases, so too does their desire to find something that works for them.

By providing a variety of tools, resources and plans for your employees to consider, you’ve placed the ball in their court and equipped them to make a choice. They may instead choose to work out at home, jog with a neighbor, buy P90X or maybe even a juicer. We simply plant the seeds, educate them on the importance of their actions and offer a variety of solutions - but at the end of the day, people need to make the decision to eat better and move more. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that they aren’t doing these things because you failed to give them the latest steps tracker and/or a mobile app to tell them what and when to eat!

Most of our customers have very rich health benefit plans that include 100% coverage for preventative services, coverage for tobacco cessation, obesity management and prescriptions for issues like hypertension and high cholesterol. They also have Employee Assistance Programs, walking groups and substantial incentives for health maintenance or improvement. Create an environment for success and then leave it up to the individual. Think of your tardiness or absenteeism policies. Imagine if an employee was late for work three times a week. Would you buy them an alarm clock? If you did, and they were still late, would you blame the clock? Would you blame yourself for not finding them a clock that worked better for them? Of course not! The same holds true with equipping your staff with health improvement tools. Ultimately, they need to engage and take the responsibility to make some changes.

If you attended Bravo’s last client webinar, you heard how we’re enhancing our participant web portal experience by adding links to excellent free resources like Active.com and the top trending mobile apps for fitness and weight management. If participants want them, they are right there but they won’t mistake the goal of the program to be the download of a program or consultation with a coach. The goal of the program is health improvement – however they choose to get there.

Topics: Engagement, Culture, Corporate Wellness & Benefits

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