When sitting down to craft these blogs, I usually try to take a quick stroll through the latest headlines looking for something to inspire me. This cruise offered up everything from a devastating terrorist attack and dangerous sea lion encounter to a high society English wedding and selfies with the Prime Minister—these are the strangest of times my friends.
The headlines did get me thinking about how to successfully break through all this noise. How can we get local and take stock of our own yards when the world is constantly shouting at us to care about absolutely everything else, all the time? This is a real challenge in my profession, and will also be for all of you who have an initiative you’re trying to get off the ground.
So, how do we do it? While I can’t guarantee that anything is going to eclipse the sideshow that is our current events calendar, here are a few tips to try to break through and turn a few heads—and hopefully a few minds—in the process.
Less can be more.
I realize that it’s tempting to try to do everything all at once, in hopes that you’ll have so many programs people will have to connect with at least one. This is a very “noisy” approach that I equate with throwing a fistful of darts at a dartboard at the same time. There’s a chance you’ll hit the bullseye but it will be by luck rather than careful aim and strategy. Try tossing out a few of the darts and sticking with the ones that make the most sense. Taking the time to carefully plan and execute a smaller number of initiatives will give you a much greater chance at hitting your target.
Reach for the stars—the closest ones.
We all want to succeed, so it’s a good idea to know the capabilities, limitations, interests and focus areas of your group. There’s no easier way to turn off a group of people than by encouraging them to step out of their comfort zones and try something new that they’re sure to fail at. Making the end goals for your initiative challenging yet attainable will go a long way to secure their interest in future programs.
Put on your most creative hat and try something new—or weird! I know it’s so much easier to recycle a tried-and-true program year over year but throwing a creative wrench into the mix can sometimes be the best medicine for an overworked wellness initiative. Your biggest payoff will be piquing the interest of new blood—winning over a few “newbie” participants can make a huge difference in the ongoing uptake of your initiatives.
Give your regulars a job.
If you have a group that’s dedicated to your wellness cause—put them to work! Sharing the responsibilities of the wellness update during a staff meeting or assigning a “regular” as the face of a particular challenge or initiative will do wonders for your cause. Message fatigue is a real thing, particularly when the messages are being delivered by the same people all the time.
I think it’s important to avoid being too prescriptive for what success looks like. Even if it wasn’t the result you anticipated, when you see a positive change that grew from one of your messages or programs let that be your new target for success—and don’t forget to celebrate!
Think of these tips during your next planning session and let your fellow wellness warriors know how it went. I’d love to hear any other suggestions you have for breaking through the noise—share them in the comments below!