How Often Should Your Company Remind Their Employees of Their Wellness Program and Goals?
Dec 14, 2011
Too Many Companies Overlook the Importance of Consistent Positive Wellness Reminders
Austin, Texas One of the most frequent questions we get is about the frequency of wellness reminders. Basically, the main question is: How often should a company remind their employees of their program without becoming a nag?
I find this question funny, as the results are usually the opposite: not enough time or effort spent on reminders and too much time spent on the nitty-gritty of the wellness program itself.
Let me clarify one thing: when I use the term “wellness reminder”, I am referring more to “positive reinforcement”–not a Big Brother atmosphere.
If reminders are done in a positive way, then reminders can be a daily basis–with posters, signs, mementos, etc. — all promoting the wellness program mission and positive reinforcement message.
The whole goal of the wellness program is to incentivize real change .. and real change doesn’t happen overnight.
Usually it takes 30 days to change a habit–be it smoking cessation a daily walk, no cream and sugar in the morning coffee cup, etc.
Attaboys, stickers, pats on the back– all these should be forthcoming every day on a regular basis. I see to many programs where a manger sends off a memo– and points are rewarded for the wellness incentive program, backs are patted, high fives are given– then it stops! Just like that–until another edict is announced or memo sent.
Positive reinforcements should be given as a matter of fact. People like to be recognized with acknowledgement. It helps to promote this new positive behavior.
To modify that management technique praised in the 1980s: Praise by Walking Around!
Get off your duff and notice people doing things right.
Catch them in the act of positivity.
Don’t jump on the negatives–use them as a chance to remind that person of their goals.
Be positive. People put up with enough negativity all day long that an “Attaboy” goes a long way. A lot further than you would imagine.
Make an impact on the lives and psyches of your employees .. and you will encourage and reinforce positive wellness behaviors.
Can you reinforce the wellness message too often?
Usually this happens only when these reminders tend to be insincere or are negative.
These should be behavior reinforcements– catching people doing things right.
Not every employee is going to be successful — no matter what the program is. Spend the most time on those that seem to want to make positive improvements.
Remember the 80-20 Rule. Try to get the 80% of your employees to make positive changes in their wellness and fitness goals.
Don’t forget the other 20%–but they may be sabotaging your program.
Not everyone will buy into the program–regardless of its appeal.
Positive reminders can still help with those employees as well.
Be a cheerleader.
Be a friend.
Be a fan.
Be an encourager.
Don’t be a nag.
Here’s to a healthier workplace.