Engagement, Motivation and Support are the Keys to a Successful Program
By: Candace Headley, Wellness Development Manager
Worksite wellness programs have been around for more than 40 years. Traditional medical-cost-based Return on Investment (ROI) approaches have arguably been the most important aspect and driver of these programs. However, having had a pulse on employee benefits programs for many years, we at Midsouth Benefits caution that this focus is outdated and flawed. Organizations of all sizes will need to embrace alternative perspectives to stay competitive. We recommend a shift from ROI to VOI, or VALUE on Investment.
Corporate wellness is no longer a perk … it’s an expectation. With the changing face of the workforce, including the influx of millennials, comprehensive wellness programs that include offerings such as flex time and telecommuting are becoming driving factors when deciding where to work.
Wellness is about behavior and lifestyle change, and change takes time and commitment. Wellness programs should provide employees with a sense of purpose and encourage positive morale, not just band-aid care, physical support and weight management programs.
MIDSOUTH BENEFITS’ TOP FIVE TIPS TO A WINNING WELLNESS PROGRAM
- EMPOWER PARTICIPATION! Support and empower your employees to participate in your wellness program by providing them with the opportunities to do so. After all, much of our time is spent working whether it’s in the office or not.
- PREVENTABLE CARE ISN’T PREVENTABLE! Seventy-five percent of chronic illnesses and diseases are preventable. An employee wellness program should address care that preempts sickness. Routine check-ups as well as consistent, ongoing health education and awareness information can help sustain healthy lifestyles.
- BE CREATIVE AND AGILE! Workplace wellness programs should not be boring! There is no “cookie-cutter” wellness program. Be creative and build a wellness program that is open to change and embraces growth. Employees need to be challenged and encouraged in different ways.
- MARKET YOUR PROGRAM!: As healthcare costs continue to rise, it is important to find ways to help your employees improve their bottom line by becoming engaged in your wellness program. Incentivize your employees to participate to win prizes, reduce premiums, etc.
- HEALTHY EMPLOYEES IS THE END-GOAL! Building and sustaining a wellness program takes time. Be sure to set clear and realistic goals. The idea behind wellness in the workplace seems straightforward: healthier employees. Without the participation of both employer and employee it will be hard to build a successful program.
Midsouth Benefits is an independent employee benefits agency and WBENC certified since 2011. Karen Larkin, CEO, and her team of dedicated, experienced professionals work primarily in the mid-size to large employee benefit marketplace (50 or more employees) brokering and consulting on a wide array of services including but not limited to benefits review, strategic planning, communication development, compliance, technology support and wellness program development.
Many Marketing Directors and CMOs are barreling through a busy time of year: planning season. The end of a calendar year often means the close of a fiscal year, which means marketers are budgeting and planning for the future. Sometimes, in the midst of allocating budget for public relations, advertising and sales support, a crucial piece is overlooked…
Corporate branding should be an integral part of any marketing mix on a consistent basis. Brands often begin a corporate branding program with a solid logo and rigorously enforced brand guidelines, but the management of this process can lapse over time and impact the brand without proper attention and strict reinforcement. It takes a lot of discipline to sustain a brand program when the business is in flux.
For the most successful and iconic brands, branding is not a once-per-decade project. It is an ongoing effort that ensures the look and message is always consistent, relevant, and equity-producing. Corporate branding goes well beyond an occasional logo and website refresh. Successful corporate branding programs incorporate design, imagery and voice.
Design should focus on a relevant and modern look and feel. Dated design gives the impression that a brand is not current. Design includes logo treatment, colors and graphic elements on all identity materials: letterhead, sales collateral, website, signage, advertising, etc.
Imagery is also an important element of corporate branding and a crucial counterpart to design. Imagery should mirror the brand’s desired feel and be inclusive of all customer groups. Imagery has the ability to project a brand’s heritage, quality, effectiveness, or value. Examples of imagery are photos, illustrations, etc.
Voice is one of the most easily lost elements of corporate branding, especially in today’s world of social media, reactive promotions, and real-time interaction. Brand personality should be conveyed through a consistent voice across all channels, even in something as quick as a tweet. Is the brand’s voice humorous? Brainy? Cynical? Uplifting? Whatever it may be, a strategic corporate branding plan will define it and provide guidelines for consistently using that voice, everywhere.
Kriston Sellier is President and Creative Director of id8, a full-service boutique advertising agency located in Marietta Square. To have a conversation with a branding expert regarding your specific needs, contact us at [email protected], call 770-428-8668 or check out our website: www.id8agency.com
There you are with a decent glass of wine in your hand.
Across the table sits a decent looking stranger. You’ve paid a decent amount of money to meet people like him or her, so let’s get started.
Stranger: I’m the youngest partner in my firm. My BMI is nineteen. I have a degree from the LSE and I’m sending my niece to college because my brother is a bum. I just finished rehabbing a bungalow in East Atlanta and I’m on the board of Oxfam America.
You: I’m sorry. I’m getting a frantic text from my parakeet sitter.
If you met a self-absorbed, egotistical, narcissistic jerk like that at a speed-dating session, you’d probably leave. But, as marketers, we’re often guilty of being just as jerky. We have seconds to make an impression on our target audience with our ad, email or whatever, so we just dump facts and features
about our brand all over them. We gush about how great our offering is. And we’re surprised when they leave.
Here’s a different way to approach the creation of marketing messages, using a technique called Message Architecture. You build messages from the bottom up, using a three-tiered template like this one:
It’s not all about you, you know.
The foundation of Message Architecture is We’re Great. This is where we put all the stuff we love to talk about. Ours is the best, the biggest, the oldest, the newest. A lot of marketers seem to believe, “If we can just tell potential customers everything about how great our offering is, they’ll love what we’re selling just as much as we do.”
Yeah. It does look pretty silly when you write it down like that, doesn’t it?
The middle level, We Can Do Great Things For You, is where we turn our great facts and features into benefits for our potential customers. But we need to know that the benefits we’re creating are relevant ones. This is where even the most rudimentary audience insight research can be helpful.
Take a Marketing Lesson from a 13th-Century Friar
Way back around 1240 AD, Giles of Assisi wrote “…blessed is he who seeks to understand before being understood.”
So, how well do we really understand the people we want to sell to? Sure, we understand them demographically. But when a person is shopping (I use that term in the broadest sense), whether it’s for legal representation, business services, bird food, sheet metal screws or lunch, he or she is being driven by needs that are much deeper than the mere need for an attorney or a sandwich.
We call these hidden drivers Emotivations™, the emotions that motivate actions1. And if you understand the Emotivations driving your potential customers, your task of standing out from your competitors and closing a sale is going to be a lot easier.
It’s important to understand that, while Message Architecture is built from the bottom up, your audience perceives it from the top down. Lead with a demonstration of how well you “get” what your audience is really shopping for and they’ll stick around long enough to get to know you.
Bill Mount is Insights and Strategy Director for The Crafton Group, Inc., a marketing and creative collective composed of senior practitioners in every aspect of contemporary marketing and communications, including research, strategy, design, advertising and media.
1 Emotivation is term coined and trademarked by The Crafton Group. But the idea of people being driven by hidden, emotional needs is not a theory. It’s an accepted concept that drives the decision-making behind every successful marketing program. We’d love to tell you more about it.
Have you ever wondered why we make certain decisions or react a certain way when making business decisions? Maybe it is because of the lessons we have learned growing up that have been instilled in us to react in a unique way when working with others. “Leadership Lessons from the HART” describe keys, insights and lessons that I learned from my mom, Julia M. Hartfield that shaped many of my leaderships skills today. I believe we can all learn from our experiences, both good and bad, that can help us in life today. For example, you will find in the book a story of how I was able to go to college, graduate and get hired by one of the top fortune 500 companies in the US.
So why would this be any different from others who went to college? Well, I am glad you asked. My mother and I were told that my reading comprehension skills were not up to par and would prevent me from keeping up with the pace of college. More importantly it would be a financial loss for my mom. Though I was disappointed in their assessment we moved forward anyway because my mother had a plan. She taught me to focus on my strengths verses my weaknesses to steer me toward a degree plan that I could excel in.
With her encouragement and support I graduated on time with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Throughout my career as a sales leader, I would spend time with team members helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses, but to place more emphasis on their strengths. This led to placing them in positions they were more comfortable in and that would lead to their success.
We all take leadership training classes or attend seminars to enhance our skills which is great. This book will provide some tips that you already know but may have forgotten over the years that will help you, your family, and your business associates succeed in life and in business.
PLEASE JOIN ME IN CELEBRATING THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT AT THE BOOK LAUNCH ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2016 FROM 5PM – 9PM.
LOCATION: 200 COBB PKWY. N, SUITE 130, MARIETTA, GA 30062.
RSVP TO [email protected] or call 678-538-8384
SpeedPro Imaging Marietta, President
770.693.1767 c. 678.538.8384
200 Cobb Pkwy. N., Suite 130, Marietta, GA 30062
Congratulations! Jennifer Maier, WDS
2016 GWBC® WBENC Business Star of the Year!
“For me, this quote says it all. I have been fortunate to have access to smart and dedicated women, all of whom have been generous with their time and knowledge. This has made me a better student and mentor.”
Jennifer Maier, CEO and President of WDS Inc., was named as a 2016 Women Business Enterprise Star by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Maier qualified for this recognition through her business certification with the Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC), and was selected due to WDS’ superior leadership as a warehousing and distribution company with 22 localized service hubs to serve customers in the food processing, medical, and technology industries throughout the United States and Canada.
“As the leader in certifications for women business owners in Georgia and the Carolinas, we are so proud of Jennifer Maier and WDS for achieving this great honor,” said Roz Lewis, president and CEO of GWBC. “WDS is most deserving and their success clearly underscores how women businesses drive innovation and fuel economic growth.”
Maier was recognized for her business accomplishments, her inspiration to other women and her leadership and vision as CEO of WDS. She received her honors during WBEBC’s 2016 Summit & Salute conference held in Phoenix, AZ. Sponsored by Accenture, EY and Ampcus, the three-day event provides vital access to the thought leaders, business intelligence, and senior-level networking opportunities creating the foundation for sustainable growth.
“I am proud to receive this recognition and appreciate the opportunity to serve as an advocate for other women in business,” said Maier. “WBENC and GWBC have been great assets as we grow, and have helped fuel accomplishments I only dreamed of when starting WDS.”
Sustainable Legacies Program Helps Develop Corporate and Nonprofit Leadership Capacity through Volunteerism
CHARLOTTE, NC (February 2016) – Innolect, a woman-owned executive and organization development company, honors Sonoco with its first Sustainable Legacies Award for their philanthropic, volunteer and social responsibility contributions in education, health and wellness, arts and culture and the environment. The award includes a donation to a nonprofit of choice by the winner, of which Sonoco selected the United Way.“We couldn’t have chosen a better company to be the inaugural recipient of our Sustainable Legacies Award,” said Kittie Watson, president and founder of Innolect. “This award not only underscores Sonoco’s world-class giving initiatives, but their keen focus on funneling their support to very local communities across the U.S., not just the big causes.”
Welcome to Episode Two of the LION’s Den: Conversations around a 21st Century approach to management and talent. In the second episode, we discuss the training of millennial employees: and why that’s an essential part of working with millennial employees.
Listen to GWBC WBE, Jordan Lofton, Golden Source Consultants, explain the answer to this very popular question.
Welcome to Episode One of the LION’s Den: Conversations around a 21st Century approach to management and talent. In the first episode, we ask the important question: Is there a millennial crisis in the workforce? And if so, what is it, and what do we do about it?
By Erica Bracey, Business Consultant, Small Business Development Center at Georgia State University
Business owners wear lots of hats and typically find themselves spending more time working IN the business than they do working ON the business. Small business owners are often incredibly proud to report, “I am a responsible business owner and file my taxes on time every year!” However, when asked about book keeping practices and the corresponding financial statements, more often than not, that cheerful smile quickly dissolves into the proverbial ‘deer in headlights’ blank stare.
The IRS has done a great job communicating the need to report revenue and “file taxes” on an annual basis. Unfortunately, the same messaging does not exist to motivate entrepreneurs to manage business records regularly and accurately. What some small business owners fail to realize is that engaging a tax accountant to prepare an annual tax return is NOT a viable substitute for bookkeeping and maintaining good records. While business revenue and expenses are reported on the tax return, it only provides an annual snapshot of the business performance. Using reliable bookkeeping and corresponding financial reports throughout the year provides a business owner with the information and data needed to track performance, identify trends and ultimately manage the business. Taxes aren’t more important than bookkeeping or vice-versa. The bottom line is that you need BOTH!
Five solid reasons business owners need bookkeeping during the year.
1) Monthly statements provide timely business information
2) Profits need to be managed MONTHLY not annually
3) Monitoring Cash Flow is critical to business success
4) Benchmarking – in both business and life the saying is true, “You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been.”
5) Being “Bankable” – Current financial statements are the first items requested with the loan application and set the tone for the entire loan process.
This Month in the WBENC President’s Report
In this issue, Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO, not only welcomes new leaders to the WBENC Board, but also announces the launch of the WBENC blog.