Dear Rex,

Not so long ago, you penned a Chicago Tribune column about the issue with corporate wellness programs, the fact that fewer than 50 percent of employers formally evaluated the results.  [Courtesy of a Kaiser Family Foundation report.]

You then admonished businesses to communicate, to spell out the whys and wherefores.  And you also noted (and we quote):  “[Companies] love to take pragmatic programs like this and dress them up in peppy buzzwords and then market them to employees.”

So, Rex:  You’re wrong.  Big time.

What your opinion fails to consider:

  • There’s something called ‘cognitive dissonance,” when people deliberately go out of their way to avoid information about behaviors that need to be corrected, or subjects we just don’t wanna read about/listen to.
  • Factor in the phenomenon called the ADHD syndrome; each of us spends about eight seconds perusing info before we get distracted.  [And that’s the latest statistic!]
  • Few of us communicators ‘market’ plans and programs and initiatives to employees.  We know better.  Usually, we look at behaviors and attitudes and the role of change within the company – and then develop a compelling, consistent, and clear plan to achieve the results needed.  Which could include training, change agents, executive consensus and sponsorship, and all the smart channels you failed to mention.

So, please Rex, do us a favor:  Check out what we do before you dismiss it as ‘peppy buzzwords.’