Focus on engagement in your wellness program
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Wellness 101

Focus on engagement in your wellness program

Susana Ponce
Mar 20, 2019

There’s a lot to focus on when running a wellness program. First, you’ll invest time doing research on what platform best fits the needs of your program. After that’s settled, you’ll decide on key details like how often to run challenges, and what types of challenge modes you’ll offer to keep things fresh and fun for users. 

But once the ink dries on your plans, what comes next? To run a successful wellness program, we recommend focusing on engagement. This is key for making sure your participants are getting the most out of challenges. Below, we’ll answer your questions on the topic: what is engagement, why is it so important, and how can you boost it in your program?

What is engagement?

Engagement is best understood as active participation and involvement. In its simplest form, this can mean the number of user sign ups or how many people are in your latest challenge. It’s also the number of times users are checking into the challenge, opening the app, or visiting the website. 

Depending on the platform you’re using, there may be even more ways to measure engagement. In MoveSpring, for example, you can run a report to see if users are posting in chat, interacting with your content by liking and commenting on it, or syncing regularly.

Why does engagement matter?

Think about the broader goals of your wellness program. You’re trying to provide an opportunity for users to make healthy choices and better their overall wellness. The best way to get users to meet those goals is to foster a sense of community where they feel supported and motivated. 

Participants are more likely to forego the couch for their running sneakers when they’re being cheered on by co-workers. An active community also makes your program more fun. The more fun employees are having, the better the chances they stick around for the next activity challenge. If they’re not engaged, you lose the community and users may lose interest in your program as time passes. 

How can I boost engagement?

Don’t let user engagement stress you out! From our extensive experience working with clients, we’ve found that there are 4 simple ways to have a positive impact on engagement. 

Promote

Promote challenges as much as possible. Make sure all eligible participants are aware of the challenge and know how to sign up. Hang up fliers around the office, send weekly email reminders, talk to people in the halls one-on-one. Don’t just stop once the challenge starts either. Continue to encourage sign-ups through the first few days. If you planned your whole program in advance, let users know how often new challenges will be offered. Repeat this strategy for each new challenge to make sure engagement stays steady and continues growing.

MoveSpring offers client sign up templates to help you generate excitement about your programming. These eye catching fliers come in several color options and messaging styles such as “get credit for taking the stairs,” and “beat the leadership.” Simply plug in challenge specifics and hit print or send. It’s that easy!

Participate

There’s a reason the saying “practice what you preach” has endured. It’s well worn advice that also applies to a wellness program. Lead by example and join your own challenges and work just as hard as others to meet the goals. Arrange walking meetings, or ask around if anyone wants to walk to get coffee. Be enthusiastic about getting your steps in and let your energy influence others as well!

In MoveSpring you’ll also have the chance to participate in the challenge chat. Chat rooms are challenge specific and are a great way to keep things fun. Encourage users to post a photo of where they got their steps each day. Send fun emojis and gifs to motivate one another. Trying to educate users on how to eat healthy? Share a link to your favorite recipe online. If you get the conversation started, users will feel more encouraged to post in chat as well. Bring the fun and keep users happy and engaged!

Publicize

Remember how excited you were to receive a gold star on your chart in school? Bring back that sense of pride and accomplishment by giving a shout out to those users who are doing the most. Acknowledge participants for a variety of achievements. Not just for being at the top of the leaderboard, but for increasing their step average, or for having their best step day in the program. Find ways to give kudos and make users feel like their hard work is noticed. Not everyone can be #1, but you can still keep a whole range of activity levels engaged by being their biggest cheerleader. 

MoveSpring has you covered with our Achievement templates. Motivate users who are almost to the goal. Highlight how many steps your users have accumulated since the start of the challenge. You can even give a special thank you to your most engaged user to encourage others to follow suit! Use our reporting tools to get the necessary information to celebrate user efforts and contributions. 

Prizes 

There’s nothing like prizes to ensure users stick to their goals and stay engaged and motivated throughout your program. Here’s a few ways to get creative.

  • Offer prizes to drive sign ups: Join by day 1 of the challenge to be entered into a raffle
  • Encourage users to continue stepping: Participate in 3 of our 4 annual challenges for a chance to win a prize
  • Motivate each person to give it their best: Maintain a minimum 7,000 step average to qualify for a grand prize

Make prizes work for any budget. Have a lot of company swag lying around the office? Give away t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, whatever is available. Don’t have much cash for giveaways? Offer an extra paid vacation day as the grand prize, or maybe a 2 hour lunch on a day of their choosing. If you have a dedicated budget for prizes, consider rewards that line up with your goals: a new fitness tracking device, or pay for the winner's next grocery bill. 

Make sure you announce winners regularly to get everyone in the challenge motivated. In MoveSpring, leverage our content feature to create a post notifying users of winners and to give information on next prizes. 

When in doubt, just remember the 4 P’s of engagement: Promote, Participate, Publicize, and Prizes!