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Food for thought


By April 15, 2016 No Comments

There’s been a lot written about how healthy employees can bring about great commercial advantages for businesses. In fact, if you believe some of the more evangelical opinion-formers it’s also a silver bullet for making ginger topgear less awkward, figuring out Brexit and being a better lover.

Hence I’m not going to go over old ground. Most of us know it’s a good thing. Tick.

But, with more and more companies jumping on the bandwagon, what’s next for wellness?

To answer this means looking beyond the more tangible outputs. Progressive companies who have been trailblazing in the wellness arena have recently woken up to the fact that their job needn’t stop once their staff are back on an even keel.

So rather than sitting back and high-fiving themselves on achieving a healthier, less stressed and more resilient workforce they have worked out that bringing about such change in the first place is a rich vein containing terrific marketing fodder for their brand to exploit. Fodder which, ordinarily, money just couldn’t buy.

And they are making hay leveraging the hell out of their wellness initiatives in order to derive wider business benefits beyond just productivity and cost savings. And why wouldn’t you? Just think about it for a second:

  • What if potential new recruitment talent knew of the leadership commitment required to enable your programmes to happen in the first place? What does this say about your Board & Mgt team?
  • What if your current employees got to witness the highs, lows, successes and near misses that their colleagues have enjoyed (and endured!). What does this say about your culture?
  • What if potential new business customers knew just how sharp-as-a-bloody knife your employees have become? What does this say about the performance of your service?
  • And what if the industry rag became a source of free-media by talking-up the cultural transformation & CSR values in your company. What does this say about your employer brand?

Being candid, this isn’t a job for HR. To capitalise successfully on this means working hand-in-hand with marketeers. People who knows how to build profile, tell stories, create buzz and sex shit up.

For the avoidance of doubt, I’m not talking here about that once a year company half-marathon that features in your company newsletter. No. Instead, companies must think how they can exploit social channels, PR and experiential marketing to amplify the noise surrounding all of your day-2-day initiatives. Professional service companies in particular are sat on a powerful sales pitch that could be put to great use within their acquisition and new business materials.

And the role for marketing doesn’t stop there either. With more and more companies jumping embarking on their own wellbeing journey new levels of creativity is needed as employers look for new ways to differentiate their programmes from the static ‘white noise benefits’ that have become such a common sight now.

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