Starting a Pilot Program
As a corporate wellness coach, some workplaces are going to give you a lot of resistance. No matter how much you try to convince them that wellness should be a part of their culture, employees would often rather live their own lives without any intervention – especially by the place that they work.
If you find you are working with a company that appears to be putting up a lot of resistance towards your programs, you will need to find ways to make them accept the programs more easily. One idea is to start a pilot program before launching into actual worksite wellness (37).
- Why a Pilot Program?
Pilot programs are a great way to address concerns – especially if these concerns are among management, whose support you need the most if you hope to continue your work. Pilot programs should be a type of intensive health management program – not a QWL program, and likely not a traditional program – that is designed to show how the tools that you are putting into place are going to create not only healthier employees, but also ROI for the company.
Pilot programs should take elements of your other programs so that it can be pointed to as an example for how wellness is going to improve your success. Pilot programs do need to be extremely intensive – and they need to be the types of programs from which you can generate real, concrete data. You can then use your data to prove why you deserve funding and support for your programs, so that you can help to rally management behind your ideas as a corporate wellness coach.
- Who Should Participate
You have the option of choosing how you want to run your pilot programs. One option is to do a pilot program that involves detractors as well as supporters, so that you can show detractors how these programs can benefit them. Another idea is to find a mix of employees that creates a representative sample of the office place so that you can show how the benefits affect the employees from the top down.
Finding participants is not quite as important as being able to achieve measurable results, but you should search for participants that will take the idea of wellness seriously and be willing to commit to the program for at least 18 months.
Pilot programs are also beneficial for improving company wellness culture; because participants in the program are going to be spreading the word about its benefits, and the employees will start to get excited about the idea that wellness is going to become a part of their company. You should also see if you can take on a budget that allows employees to continue to volunteer after starting the program, and if you get enough support you may be able to convince management to allow you to continue with your programs even if your results are not as noticeable as you had hoped to achieve.
Keeping Communication Open After Launch
Once you have launched your worksite wellness program, your job marketing the benefits as a corporate wellness coach is not over. You will need to continue to market the benefits of wellness in order to keep employees motivated to make major life changes.
You should stay in constant contact with employees and your wellness committee from several reasons, including:
- Receiving company and employee feedback regarding your program choices.
- Finding subjective assessments about company wellness culture and what can be done to fix it.
- Sending out news about new programs, changes to old programs, etc.
- Keeping everyone talking about and thinking about wellness in their work life.
- Encouraging employees to continue to continue to use the programs available to them.
You can choose how you want to communicate. You can use traditional methods like memos, signs, etc., to keep in touch with employees about wellness, or you can consider taking advantage of more new age methods, like creating a Facebook group, starting a Twitter Account, or using YouTube. You can also see about creating company events that you market, and at these events stage rollouts of new ideas or get feedback about old ones.
Remaining in contact with employees is going to be an important part of marketing your wellness. Once the programs are launched you should continue to make the presence of both yourself and your wellness committee known so that employees never put wellness on the back burner when you continue your work.
Learn more about corporate wellness coaching