Engagement: Personalization, Choice and Some Magic - Virgin Pulse

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Engagement: Personalization, Choice and Some Magic

May 3, 2016 / Uncategorized

By Harlan Spiva, corporate wellness consultant, BB&TVirgin Pulse personal choice

Successful engagement solutions in corporate wellness involve a selection, rather than a single answer. They also seem to be a kind of magic. Having worked with Virgin Pulse, ShapeUp and Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) separately, I’m excited about them coming together. Each has their own “potions” for personalization that’ll be greater combined. Let’s look at how to brew them.

While it may be easier to communicate and administer an isolated, themed challenge, it’s a gamble. We hope that a target number of employees agree to participate for the duration. The problem is that they may not be interested or lose interest. The solution is personal choice.

At the 2016 Thrive Summit, I’ll be speaking about designing relevance, privacy and personalization for employers. Here, let’s highlight employee options for keeping the experience relevant, personal and fun.

A partner of choice provides personal choice

Our engagement is better and longer when we want to, instead of feel we have to, participate. In designing programs, have options. For example, folks that don’t want to track steps, servings or weight can instead track sleep, stress or gratitude. Include short-term challenges, events, contests, and fun to retain interest. Choice allows people to find their passion. Define engagement as a sum of all offerings.

Augment a primary challenge by allowing more personalized experiences. Encourage individuals to “friend” others for one-on-one interactions. Assist folks who have ideas and traits in common to create and join groups – in and out of challenges. Technology enables us to think beyond corporate hierarchy and toward a social network.

Energy becomes synergy

Promoting employee-driven initiatives addresses a human social need. We tend to cluster with others of like minds and interests. We then can build program relevance, form corporate social bonds and create the foundations of long-term healthy habits and culture.

Whether competitive or collaborative, encourage employees to share successes. Help them celebrate milestones with individual or team awards, or charitable giving. Recognize and record when positive life changes happen. Hear them tell their stories.

Crowdsourced support, ideas and design

The value of peer coaching is well documented. It’s also a support network that helps relieve the administrative burden when questions or issues arise. The social community is a source of ideas and grassroots program design. Consider this: some companies still block most social media. The wellness social community may be the only non-business network they can access at work without “going rogue.” It’s where the conversations are.

Because of transparency, true identities are shared. Participants are more polite with, and supportive of each other. Their focus moves from avoiding illness to celebrating each other being well.

Successful corporate wellbeing programs are similar to, and align with, corporate goals and values. The employer designs the framework from the top down, and the employees contribute – individually and collectively – from the bottom up. In the middle, magic happens.

Please share your comments here, and with me at the 2016 Thrive Summit.

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Harlan Spiva
is a corporate wellness consultant for BB&T. He has worked as a clinician, strategist, health educator and marketer. Harlan’s mission is to humanize data science so that we want to do the input, are interested in the output, and can use it to become our best selves. After many adventures, he settled back in the San Francisco Bay area, and became a husband and father. His current work focuses on consulting corporate clients in the creation and evolution of programs to enhance health, wellness, and wellbeing. Follow him on Twitter: @hspiva.

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