A review of past, present, and future opportunities can enhance the planning process and boost participation. We’ve brainstormed some questions for you to consider.

Past Products
Health promotion programs and services have a life cycle, just like commercial products — they go through introduction, growth, plateau, and decline phases. Review activities yielded positive results years ago but have fallen off the wellness agenda. Then ask:

  • What made them successful?
  • Do you still see health concerns that warrant a similar program or service?
  • What can you do differently today to recreate the initial enthusiasm?
  • Can you simply repackage the concept, update the content, and offer the product as a new program or service?

Current Markets
Health promoters often fail to exploit successful programs and services. If you’ve received rave reviews in a certain area, do you:

  • Use the momentum to reach new people by highlighting the positive feedback in promotions?
  • Encourage satisfied participants to recruit new people with incentives?
  • Offer additional opportunities to satisfied participants while their success is still fresh?
  • Look for ways to present an effective program or service to different target groups by repackaging the promotional materials to match their needs?
  • Break apart program components and offer them a la carte or reconfigure parts of several programs into a new offering?
  • Try to identify new uses for the same programs?

Participants and Potential Participants
Long-time Health Promotion Practitioner readers know we’re big supporters of participant feedback — in all areas of wellness. Have you asked participants and potential participants:

  • What they want before you decide what they need?
  • How you can attract more of their colleagues?
  • Which promotions entice the most?
  • How well past involvement has met their needs?

Growth Markets
Staying ahead of interests is a much greater challenge than responding to needs, because of the unknown. Disciplined inquiry is your best chance for predicting emerging trends. Do you:

  • Communicate regularly with human resources and get involved in focus groups or surveys that seek employee feedback on work/life issues?
  • Read trade journals in your organization’s business to know where the industry is headed?
  • Correspond with your peers regularly to get their input on the future of health promotion?
  • Track human resource trends in journals and newsletters?
  • Attend health promotion conferences that highlight emerging research, needs, and ideas?

New Product Development
Mature wellness programs have the ongoing challenge of creating fresh, targeted programming. Do you:

  • Review commercial health promotion products and services regularly for potential purchase or concepts for creating an in-house version?
  • Exchange suggestions and materials with other wellness managers?
  • Meet with your organization’s product development and marketing people to see if they use techniques adaptable to wellness?
  • Interview new employees before they’ve been exposed to your services to get an unbiased view of their needs?
  • Explore other service industry innovations for potential adaptation?

Before heading into planning meetings, review these questions. If you haven’t addressed them, use the answers to help set priorities. In some cases the process will lead to 2013 goals that in turn will help you plan for 2014 and beyond.


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