Leveraging leadership advocacy and wellness ambassadors to inspire participation and compliance in your programs will highly influence penetration rates and measurable outcomes for your business. This was evident in a cross-comparison case study between two large Silicon Valley based clients with a global presence. (Both employers were interested in implementing corporate wellness programs that reached beyond their fitness center walls, connecting their geographically diverse employee population.) We deployed a Global Fitness Challenge to meet these needs of both companies.
The platform solution and program design were readily available, but taking it to a global scale where resources beyond the local offices were primarily unavailable would require a new challenge. We launched two best practices: Wellness Ambassadors and Leadership Advocacy.
Both six-week and eight-week challenges were online and team-based, where participants were encouraged to increase their level of physical activity throughout the program duration.
In both cases, employee volunteers, better known as Wellness Ambassadors, acted as a promotional extension and advocate to the onsite Wellness Team. Given the geographical diversity of each employer’s offices, having Ambassadors as local contacts enhanced the user experience and fostered greater compliance.
At these respective employers, the corporate wellness programs were launched through a promotional email from the C-Suite which demonstrated their support of employee wellness and acknowledged the importance of employees’ healthy behaviors.
The Case Study Results
Participants expressed their appreciation and satisfaction through a post-program survey. Employee testimonials:
“I absolutely loved this program! It got me really motivated and out there running every week. My small children even had me dancing in the kitchen on the weekends, shouting ‘how many steps now daddy?’”
“This truly was a motivational program! I even lost a few pounds.”
“This program was unique, special and good to have at work. I met several new co-workers and made new healthy habits.”
“Let’s do it again! I like the portal. I was able to track via my blackberry with no problems.”
“I loved the competition and tracking results both individually and as a team.”
Through these best practices and leveraging Active Wellness platform, these global editions realized higher participation and completion rates than their national counterparts.
Given that industry participation averages hover around 30%, the fact that leadership was involved in the promotion and advocacy of both of these wellness programs presents a strong correlation with increased program participation. It was also found that having an extension of the Wellness Team in the form of Wellness Ambassadors to initially and continually promote the program, motivated fellow employees. Overall, the program is key to participation, compliance, and overall user experience, effectively impacting behavior change.
Our management team oversaw both of these programs and were closely involved in their creation, which included collaboration with employer site- specific departments such as HR and Benefits.