This week we’re re-printing trend #4 from our popular eBook, New Perspectives in Wellness and Benefit Communications. Although we wrote this a couple years ago, we’re seeing a lot more interest in tapping into local communities to power workplace wellness programs. Not only are the resources rich, but most of them are free. Enjoy!
Your Community is an Untapped Gold Mine Waiting to be Discovered
How would you feel if a great fresh food chef offered to take your employees to the local farmers’ market and show them ways to buy and prepare food in quick, easy, nutritious ways? Sounds like fun.
Or if the local sports store was heading up a program that offered a cool and rewarding way to get young girls interested in running to build their self-esteem and confidence at the same time? Outstanding.
Think about the bicycle shop offering a family riding tour on the local rails-to-trails route. What a great day that would be.
What if the most insightful thinkers and scholars in health and human behavior from the local colleges were ready and willing to share their wisdom and insights with you all the time? Invaluable.
All the above are examples of actual events taking place in our home community of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
There are Diamonds in Your “Backyard”
Over the last 30 years, we’ve had an opportunity to visit hundreds of workplaces and communities. Often we’ve been amazed and inspired by the talent, passion, and expertise we learned existed in a single community.
Trust us, you are living in a sea of solutions. An ocean of new and fun revelations. An army of talent and passion. It really is all around you. Colleges, hospitals, chefs, bicycle shops, park rangers, hobbyists, libraries, retirement communities (talk about experience!), artists, actors, writers, martial artists, and teachers — you get the idea.
Grassroots efforts by local merchants and small organizations will influence community health the most.
Most of us are unaware of the resources that remain untapped within five miles from where we work and live. It’s time to plug in.
We sense something powerful happening. We think your employees and local citizens are way ahead of you. Small businesses, individuals, and small groups are using social media in powerful, local ways, and converting that interest into grassroots-oriented events.
The tipping point may be the proliferation of short video. Seeing is believing. Video will be used more and more as a responsive medium. The point is your employees will now see what’s going on around them rather than just hear about it. And the desire to participate will transform into action.
Here are a few tips:
• Tap into community activities being talked about by grassroots groups.
• Collaborate with other workplaces and institutions and bring their expertise and experience to the table.
• Plan events and programs in conjunction with other organizations to share resources, reduce costs, and leverage your messages inside and out.
• Watch new communication technologies carefully (like video streaming). They enable us to connect and interact more. Social interaction is a fundamental human need.
How are you using the resources in your community? Share your thoughts and ideas with us!
For more trends that will change everything, truths you should realize, and a communication plan of action you follow today, read: New Perspectives in Wellness & Benefit Communications.
Shawn is the President and Founder of Hope Health. For over 30 years, his work has focused on bringing clear, easy-to-read and watch health messages to the public via workplaces. He bills himself as the “Best C+ Student in the Wellness Biz” because, as he says, “I like to challenge the notion that there is no such thing as a stupid question.” Shawn is on a mission to tie workplaces into their surrounding communities to share resources and ideas in an effort to improve the health of all Americans.
You may reach Shawn at sconnors@HopeHealth.com or 800-334-4094.