About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to Keep Wellness Program Participants Engaged and Empowered

It’s not uncommon for employees to jump headfirst into an overzealous diet and exercise routine immediately after obtaining biometric results. Newly motivated employees are quick to make room in their busy schedules for healthy food prep and fitness in an attempt to reverse years of bad habits in a matter of days. Of course, injury, discouragement, and general lack of focus quickly bring these new behaviors to a grinding halt. After a few months, weeks, or most common – a couple of days – that time for healthy habits seems to evaporate into thin air. At WCS, we design our population health management programs to start strong and END STRONG.

Long term behavior change can be a difficult task, but research shows it’s not impossible. Our coaches formulated the Full Circle Wellness plan to help individuals set goals and achieve success. Five categories of influence encourage behavior modification: Personal motivation, personal ability, social motivation, social ability and structural motivation. The goal of any wellness program should be to inspire at least four of these categories. When this happens, the effort is up to ten times more likely to produce substantial and sustainable change compared to an effort that addresses three or fewer.

Studies suggest that humans instinctively try to change habits with one of the support structures in place. But, for example, even if personal motivation is strong, if social and structural motivation are non-existent, the individual is unlikely to succeed in the long run. When people attempt behavior change with four of the five influencers in place, their success rate jumps from about 4 to 40 percent – four times higher than average!

At WCS, we embrace this model because we recognize that there are no quick fixes to complex problems. Bad behavior rarely has a single cause. If there is any chance of wiping out chronically unhealthy actions and replacing them with ones that improve quality of life and promote health, it’s with a thoughtful, multifaceted, evidence-based approach.

With over 150 clients, WCS understands how to best deliver corporate wellness programs that prioritize the individual but bring about results for a whole organization. Learn more about Wellness Corporate Solutions’ dynamic approach to bring change to your workplace and beyond!


Dan Lottsfeldt, M.S. said...

This piece by Fiona Gathright is a concise and precise overview on how best to view and address health behavior modification.

As most people know, behavior change is not an "event"; rather, it is a process or series of actions to achieve a result. This process not only involves learning, but also can involve failure. In my opinion, those who claim they have never failed at anything, have never tried hard at anything.

To paraphrase Thomas Edision re: inventing the light bulb, "I did not fail hundreds of times, I just found hundreds of ways that don't work".

The five catagories listed draw from many of the accepted academic behavior change models. An applied understanding of these paradigms will certainly help drive participant engagement. Simply chasing risk factor action steps as an incentive tends to have a pretty short half-life.

Just my thoughts...

Dan Lottsfeldt, M.S.
Health Behavior and Wellness Consultant
Huntington Beach, CA
Email: biosocal@yahoo.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/danlottsfeldtpreventivehealth

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