After the amount of time spent planning and preparing for a wellness event, there are few things more frustrating than low employee participation. But the truth of the matter is, we’ve all been there. Whether your event attendance is stellar or you could use some improvement, it’s always worthwhile to walk through these 5 steps before any wellness event.
Step One: Does it align with your strategy?
While hosting a “Rent-A-Puppy” event in the spirit of de-stressing might sound exciting to you, does it align with your program’s goals? If you’ve dedicated the year to focus on healthy eating, how might an event like that impact your measure of success? Before starting to plan an event, ensure it lines up with what you are trying to achieve, and strike it if it doesn’t align- even if that means saying “no” to puppies.
Step Two: Get Creative
Once you have an idea of what you are trying to achieve, it’s time to get creative. If creativity isn’t your forte, look to your wellness committee or even google! Would you want to attend an event called “Stretch at Your Desk”? Maybe. But does “Stretching 101” or “Deskercise” sound more enticing? Additionally, would you want to attend an event where someone is talking at you for an hour? Consider interactive stations or activities. What’s most important is that it’s something your population will respond to.
Step Three: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The reason you always hear “communication is key” is because it’s true. One of the leading ways to get employees to your events is to tell them about it. Brilliant, right? The rule of seven is a long-standing concept in marketing. Essentially, the prospective “buyer” should hear or see the marketing message at least seven times before they “buy it” from you. Here are seven communication tools for you to consider:
- Email (from leadership, monthly newsletter)
- Flyers (on walls, bulletin boards, bathroom stalls)
- Internal Intranet (ads, social channels)
- In-Person (team meeting announcements, wellness committee)
- Text reminders
Take a flu shot clinic, for example. The messaging should be consistent, upbeat and convey the value of the program. Fortunately, Blue Cross NC has a for that.
Step Four: Consider Incentives
Even if you have a small budget, an incentive can go a long way. Consider hosting a raffle for attendees, offering healthy snacks, including family or having a friendly competition amongst departments. Once you decide on the incentive, don’t forget to communicate it!
Step Five: Ask for feedback
If the event was a bust- ask why! If the event was a huge success ask why! Receiving feedback on events is critical to success. For example, a survey might illuminate the fact that the time your event was held conflicted with a large departmental meeting. After all, you won’t know if you don’t ask.