What to Look for in a Community Wellness Program
Community wellness programs are much more than a basic “perk” for your members; they are an active, effective tool in the health and well-being of your community. A great wellness program can help to reduce medical costs, improve engagement and mental health, and even help to prevent or manage chronic disease.
However, not all community wellness programs are made equal. Finding an effective, engaging platform is key to helping your community adopt and maintain healthy long-term behaviors.
When we discuss community wellness programs with our clients, we are committed to ensuring the program is the right fit. Over our decades of experience, we have found that there are several factors that go into an effective community wellness program, which we will share below.
8 Things to Look for in an Effective Community Wellness Program
1. Easy to Use
One of the most important qualities of a community wellness program is that it is easy for your members to use and engage with. Wellness programs are taking on the difficult task of trying to “rewrite” habits—or create entirely new ones. If a program is difficult to use, it’s very likely many of your members will quickly stop using it.
No community is exactly like another, and neither are the goals of that community and its leaders. It’s important that the community wellness program you choose can be customized to fit you and your community members’ needs. This means being able to pick the programs that will be of most benefit to your members, arranging the tools and dashboards in a way that will support—but not overwhelm—and even creating an implementation roadmap that best works with your community and goals.
3. Programs & Information
Some community wellness programs are simply goal-setting and tracking platforms. However, this is often not enough to support real growth within a community. Look for a wellness platform that has programs that offer and support specific steps to improve nutrition and exercise, stop smoking, manage diabetes, and more. Along with these programs, your platform should have plenty of easily accessible, engaging information to educate and support the programs and changes your members will be engaging in.
Some wellness programs try to do too much—others try to do too little. Look for a wellness program that balances the biggest priorities in your community without taking on so much that it’s overwhelming for your members. With our wellness program, TribalFitt, we specifically focus on health, financial, and social well-being. We find this offers a well-rounded solution to our communities without having too many “steps” or “pillars” that would detract from our members’ journeys.
5. Device Compatible
Our communities are becoming increasingly mobile, which means the wellness program you choose should be accessible from a wide range of devices. While many members may use a traditional desktop computer for their wellness management, others may prefer mobile phones or tablets. Ensure the program you choose is compatible (and easy to use) with the devices your community prefers to use.
While social/gamification tools are less common in wellness programs, they are also highly effective. Social and gamification aspects help to connect your members with other members of their community, providing support and motivation in their wellness journeys. This social aspect helps to keep members more engaged while also adding a fun, enjoyable social aspect for those who want it.
7. Robust Reporting
A community wellness program should also have robust reporting tools. These should be tools that help individuals mark their own progress as well as tools for community leaders to see how their community is progressing. While overarching reports and metrics can help you measure how the program is performing overall, it’s also important to be able to see the details of your members’ individual performance to identify when certain people may need a little extra help or support.
8. Tailored to Your Community
Finally, look for a wellness program that is compatible with your community. At 3Fitt, in our many years of experience, we quickly realized that no single program could support all communities’ needs. That’s why we have different programs designed specifically for different communities, including TribalFitt, which is designed specifically with the needs, goals, culture, and preferences of Native American communities in the forefront.
Would you like to learn more about how TribalFitt can support your community in its wellness goals? Click the link below to schedule a short introductory call with one of our wellness experts.