Scoring Wellness Touchdowns

Results are the outcome of effectively executing an appropriate strategy. Plain and simple. Whether it’s scoring touchdowns, losing weight, learning a language or even hosting a kick-ass tailgate party: You not only need the right tools and resources, but you need to know how to effectively put them all together.

Love or hate football, it’s hard not to get caught up in the hype of the season kick off. Watching powerful athletes go toe-to-toe on the gridiron is thrilling, but at a deeper level it should remind us that points don’t just materialize on the scoreboard, they are manufactured through hard work and the dedicated execution of a strategic plan. Believe it or not, the goal for most players on the field is not to score a touchdown, it’s to make the next tackle, make the next catch, evade a block… in other words, it’s to replicate what they’ve meticulously executed on the practice field, one step at a time.

Sustainable workplace health promotion is the same. While the end game may be points on the scoreboard (i.e. less pounds, less clinical risks, less injuries) scoring touchdowns is not the actual goal. The goal should focus on the process and behaviors which leads to touchdowns. That is, sustainable engagement of your workforce in a program which identifies and promotes sustainable changes in relevant work, health, and lifestyle habits, for they are the components which lead to the outcomes which we have any control over.

Testing employees and setting clinical scores as goals, or linking incentives to scoreboard results is not the right strategy. You’re trying to skip to full time without playing the game. Would the coach who simply tells his team to end the game with more points on the scoreboard be likely to win the Super Bowl? Of course not – the players already know that. What they need is education, skills and motivation to help create and execute a strategy to put the points on the board. So do your employees. In the same way that teams don’t develop game winning plays on the spot, these workplace initiatives need to be long standing, to progressively help employees refine and evolve their personal strategy. The personal playbook should be specific to their position…in other words, the personal goals and action plans need to effectively fit a person’s existing work flow, and life flow if it is to be successful and sustainable.

As you review your health promotion goals, strategies and resources. Think about whether you are using an approach which can consistently gain and maintain the engagement of your employees on a progressive drive for the end zone. Are your initiatives relevant and cohesive? Do they fit a person’s workflow? Do they help individuals work on what is most relevant to them, or do they try to force people into running generic plays? Think about it. Teaching a kicker to block, or a blocker to throw is not likely to put points on the board, so assuming all your employees want to walk as a form of exercise (step challenge), or that everyone can benefit from weight-loss or other common generic wellness challenges and campaign activities can actually be more isolating than progressive. To strengthen your culture the tools you employ should be relevant and engaging to your group, but still help individuals identify the most relevant personal skills that need coaching and development. Use group activities to bring people together, but let individuals set their own goals. Reward progress towards change rather than the final score. A strong process which helps unite your team towards the common goal of improved health and performance will result in a winning season.         

HBD has been developing game winning health promotion and injury prevention behavior change programs for over 20 years. Our comprehensive programs average ongoing engagement and participation from over 80% of the total workforce (without incentives) and sustained measurable change from 60% of the workforce. To take your health, safety, or high performance initiatives to the next level, give us a call to discuss your unique challenges on 1-844-206-1533, or email us at Dare I say it… Go Patriots! 

Published on by Andrew Stephenson.