Your community is a treasure trove of riches you can mine to enrich your wellness program, teach your employees about nearby experiences and services, and ensure your program offers something for everyone.
Consider reaching out to local organizations, businesses, and professionals committed to wellbeing. You might ask them if they would be willing to send representatives to be part of your:
- Ask-the-Expert days
- Health fairs
- Kick-off events
- Connecting with Community and other events you are hosting
Also, you might ask if they would be willing to donate a gift certificate as a door prize, or coupons for the attendees for health-related events.
Here are some ideas we took from our community of Kalamazoo, Mich., and what they may offer. Your local area likely has many of these same organizations, businesses, and professionals.
- Parks and Recreation Department – Have a department representative share the history, amenities, and offerings of the city’s parks. Find out which parks are suited for family-friendly activities, and which are good for biking, walking, or hiking.
- Convention and Visitors Bureau – Connect with the organization to keep up-to-date on future creative and fun events for families, singles, groups, and various interests.
- Bike-shop owners – Ask them if they wouldn’t mind sharing interesting bike facts and safety tips, plus give your employees the inside scoop on scenic, fitness and family-friendly bike routes around town.
- Fitness-store owners – See if they offer shoe fittings and/or could explain the different types of athletic shoes and how to pick the right one(s) for the activity you want to do.
- Massage school or local shop owner – Find out if someone would discuss the benefits and types of massage and what to look for when seeking massage services.
- Garden- and vegetable-shop owners – Ask if they would share tidbits on the benefits of gardening and how to start vegetables or flowers from seed at home, and perhaps if they offer free soil testing.
- Restaurants committed to serving locally produced food (such as Food Dance in Kalamazoo) – See if someone could explain the trickle effect of this commitment to local sources of food, whether they might offer cooking demonstrations and recipes, and if they could recommend sources for the public to buy locally produced food.
When you reach out to the local community, make sure to sell the idea of “what’s in it for them.” Reinforce the notion that working with your wellness program will give them access to potential new customers and clients by:
- Allowing them to have signs, business cards, or pamphlets at your wellness activities.
- Including their names and contact information (including website address) in any local community partner resource directory you might create for your wellness program (either in print or online)
Keep the Momentum Going in Your Communications
You can also use the tips and information these experts provide in multiple ways after the events – such as newsletter articles, eMail tips, fliers and more! This keeps the resources top of mind for employees, and is also a good way to promote upcoming events.
What’s in your neighborhood? Take a little time to check it out today!
For more ideas, check out this free eBook, “A Champagne & Caviar Wellness Program on a Beer & Nachos Budget.”
LET’S TALK: If you need help with any wellness program engagement challenges, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-334-4094.