What do weddings and wellness have in common?
What can a lavish party with something old, new, borrowed, and blue have to do with wellbeing? A lot, it seems. And as “wedding season” re-emerges under a somewhat different COVID look, we thought this quirky metaphor was especially relevant and worthy of sharing…
The dress. Brides spend months, even years, trying to find the right dress for the occasion. In wellness, you’re also looking for the right fit. What worksite-wellness vendor can give you the customizations you need for your culture? What features do you need to not only entice participants to join, but keep them around for the happily ever after? One size doesn’t fit all, so shop around. Ask questions, research, and reach out to peers until you find the wellness program or portal that’s tailored to your population.
The invitation. Just as important as setting up the right event is having a great invite to entice everyone to attend. Make sure you advertise your program and its features and benefits with the proper promotional materials (posters, flyers, postcards, mailers, PowerPoint presentations at meetings or continuously looped in common areas, table tents). Send email blasts and push notifications (with a “save the date” for when your program or portal launches, or to send encouraging messages, announce new contests, and stimulate participants to start an action plan). Post digital ads on your intranet and benefits portal, and use whatever other marketing materials are available to you. And get involved on a personal level! The more you stay engaged, the more likely your participants will, too.
The vows. “To have and to hold from this day forward.” Having better health isn’t just something participants should say “I do” to on the first day; it’s a commitment for a lifetime. Sure, there will be days when they don’t feel like exercising. Or the buffet is more intriguing than a healthful choice. But that doesn’t mean their entire plan for being active and feeling great is over. Each day is a journey. And as their wellness partner, it’s important that you let them know it’s not always easy, but they’ll have the support and guidance they need for the long haul.
The dancing. You’ve seen it at weddings and junior-high dances alike … a lot of people want to dance, but no one wants to be the first to step out onto the floor. But once the ice has been broken, it becomes infectious and everyone else joins in. Should you be the first one to start the dance party? Oftentimes, the answer is yes. The reason “dance floor mentality” can be applied to any wellness idea is because people enjoy seeing their peers try it first and share positive results. Witnessing success is often more powerful than any crafty communication or online article raving about the program’s benefits. Your employees are more likely to participate in corporate-wellness activities if company leaders engage first (and if ongoing engagement is welcomed and encouraged). So request a popular song—in other words, start with something familiar, reliable, and comfortable. Then, lead the conga line to new healthier habits.
The cake. Hand in hand, the happy couple slices through the layers, symbolizing the start of a new life together. For participants to be successful in their wellness journey, they also need “layers” of support, fun activities, and personalization so they can connect at their pace, in their way. Good health doesn’t just happen because participants join a wellness program. It’s a special recipe of engagement, personalization based on interests and goals, interaction with others, and a helpful hand to guide them through each challenge they face. And once your cake is perfectly layered and baked the way you want it, it’s the best everyday reward for all of your hard work!
The memories. The biggest difference between wellness and weddings is that wellness isn’t some humongously amazing once-in-a-lifetime event. So this one’s all about the memories — the little nuggets of knowledge you can apply to each individual day of your wellness journey. Remember how hard you worked to find that perfect fit and all the “measurements” that helped you get there. Reminisce about that dance-floor feeling and how you inspired so many others to better their lives, too. And don’t forget to eat that frozen piece of cake to celebrate your one-year anniversary!
When the dance floor has cleared and all the guests have gone home, each participant is rewarded with the gift of good health, a brighter outlook, and more energy and stamina to withstand whatever life throws at them.
Sonic Boom Team