ACEC Life/Health Trust’s mission and vision is focused on crafting a wellness program that is based on the input of engineers. We say “This program was built both BY and FOR engineers.” At every step along the way, Designed Wellness staff have solicited your ideas and opinions and then, in the spirit of engineering, made modifications and improvements the program. It is an ongoing process and we seek to develop the program to meet the needs of our participants. In the spirit of continuous improvement, it is time to repeat the systematic effort we made last year.
From January to March in 2013, we asked employee participants, non-participants, spouses, and champions what they thought. And we got to work following your input. For example
- When we learned that employees got more out of the program when health challenges were easy to participate in, we provided champions with a set of tips to improve challenge participation.
- When we learned that job demands and stress were a major concern, we provided a new set of materials on stress management and increased the visibility of the stress management program.
- When we learned that to get their involvement, different firm leaders and managers needed different types of messages. In response, we created a set of tools for champions to better engage firm’s leaders and managers.
While these changes may be important, they are still just the beginning. It takes time to increase participation in the program and for that participation to lead to behavior change. And it takes time for behavior change to result in concrete and measureable signs of improved health. The latter includes weight loss, reductions in blood pressure, waist circumference, and cholesterol; and also improved reports of well-being.
We want to and NEED to know about different employees who are at different stages along this continuum of change. For example:
- Some of you are not using the program because you feel you are too busy or already have a program. Your opinion is important to us because your ideas may help us better understand the engineering mind-set of healthy workers.
- Some of you are just starting, or are light users, or are heavy users. We need to get input from all of you so we can compare and contrast factors that might lead to more effective use.
- Some have made small changes. Others have made radical changes. No matter what kinds of changes you have made, we want to be able to capture your insights. Sometimes even small changes make a big difference.
Remember that we are building this program with ALL types of customers in mind. So, it does not matter where you are in the wellness process. Where you are today may be totally different than where you are tomorrow. We take two steps forward and one step back. We may do nothing for a while and then really get on a strong program. We can also relapse.
To help you see the value of your voice, below are some key tips we received from last year’s survey. By the way, if you want to, feel free to review the executive summary or a full Slide Deck of the survey results (links below). Each one of the following tips puts you — THE EMPLOYEE — in the driver seat. While we continue to make changes in program design we also are committed to share insights with you about those employees who are getting the most out of the program.
We know that you can get more out of the program. Think of it this way. Have you ever purchased a product by a salesperson who did not show you all its features, the bells and the whistles? Or perhaps they did but you forgot? Whether it was a car, an appliance, a software system, a computer. Did you get embarrassed when, after months of some frustration, your friend sees you struggling and says something like: “Have you used the button in the lower left corner?” or “Did you hold down the lever another two seconds?” By collecting data from those who get more and also less out of the program, we can share those results with you pointing to key drivers of satisfaction and effectiveness.
Review the list and use whatever you think will help you on your wellness journey. Like we said at the beginning, this program is built both by engineers and for engineers. This means that the program has to be based in evidence: use what works!
What you told us!
Evidence-Based Insights: Tips for Getting the Most out of The Program
- Ask “how can I make the program easy to use for myself?”
- Ask “What can I share about the program that will help my champion do a better job?”
- You can get involved no matter what background you have. Age, gender, job tenure, health status, makes little difference in program use.
- If you have to do ONLY one thing: Get involved in challenges; but please consider using all program components
- Take the time to get oriented to The Healthyroads website and learn simple steps for getting started and staying with it
- The Healthyroads website has lots of great stuff but you have to make the effort to (1) Find what motivates you, and (2) Find tools that you can use. Ask your champion for help.
- The results from Your Personal Health Assessment is a valuable tool. Take responsibility for understanding the report and your own personal plan. Call a wellness coach if you need help.
- As we said above, Challenges can be great ways to get involved. How can you help to make the challenges more fun and easy to use for yourself and others?
- The resulting report from Your Biometric Assessment is a valuable tool. How can you be proactive in fully understand what the report means to you?
Review these additional materials: