Imagine two local entrepreneurs are both opening new restaurants in the same neighborhood. The first entrepreneur, Sue, has decided to hold a soft opening to meet the community and see how her dishes are received. The second entrepreneur, Bob, considered holding a soft opening but wasn’t sure it would be worth the cost. He has lived in the neighborhood for a few years and hopes to bring in new customers through word of mouth.
One month after opening their respective restaurants, Sue and Bob both decide to make a change in an attempt to increase revenue. Sue sits down and analyzes her sales for each menu item with the intent to eliminate unpopular items. Meanwhile, Bob decides to ramp up his marketing efforts by launching a promotional coupon. He feels that poor visibility may be the reason for sluggish sales. Which restaurant owner do you believe has the greater likelihood of success?
Though restaurant ownership and employee wellness programs may not seem to have much overlap, many of the same principles apply. Just as a savvy entrepreneur would not open a new restaurant without research and planning, an experienced wellness program manager or director would not roll out a new program without appropriate data to guide decisions. Sue chose to collect data by holding a soft opening and then analyzed additional metrics after the first month to help guide her decisions about the menu. Bob, on the other hand, did not use data to drive his decisions and instead used his personal opinions about the customers to guide his choices.
While both Sue and Bob may ultimately be successful, only Sue will have the data to understand how she got there. The same is true for employee wellness programs. Successful programs should be thoroughly planned prior to implementation. The needs, interests, and preferences of employees should be taken into consideration. Additionally, a clear goal should be established from the outset. What do you hope the program will accomplish? How will you know if your program is a success? The most successful wellness programs are those which were implemented strategically, are assessed regularly, and have buy-in from employees at all levels of the organization.
Join our educational program, Workplace Wellbeing: Measuring and Managing Your Program Investment on February 7th to learn more about data-driven employee wellbeing programs.