Sometimes everything just falls into place.

That's how it has felt working with our current client, a large government agency with a multi-faceted workforce spread out across three states and five different locations.

But the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from a wildly successful partnership doesn't just happen by chance - it takes hard work, dedication, and the willingness of both parties to embrace innovation.

Here is how we worked together to exceed set goals, increase ROI, and revamp their employee wellness programs across the board.


Our challenge with this client was to help them streamline and synthesize their wellness program in order to increase employee attendance and make a significant impact on their employee's physical, emotional, and mental health.

When we first began working with them, our client had implemented a wide variety of wellness offerings for their employees, including The Biggest Loser-type wellness competitions, boot camps, and an ever-changing array of classes and instructors.

The problem was that our client was not seeing a strong ROI for their efforts. Employee engagement was inconsistent. When a new, exciting program was offered during one month, attendance would top 200 people. However, when that program was replaced by something different the following month, attendance would drop to 50 people or less.

What our client needed was consistency: a turnkey approach that could be applied to every wellness program in every location.


Here were the steps we took to ensure a stronger, more predictable ROI and more consistent employee engagement across multiple locations:

We created a yearly scheduling system that specified all of the wellness programs to be rolled out monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually. The schedule was the same for every location. In this way, employees could see ahead of time the various work/life balance and fitness-oriented programs that interested them most, and make plans to attend.
We developed programming that addressed every area of employee wellness, including mental health, emotional health, physical health, seasonal health, and safety components, paying particular attention to the importance of seasonally-based programs (the way we stay well in winter is different from how we stay well in summer).
We created marketing materials for each individual program featuring highlights and benefits to the employee.
We developed and implemented a reporting system for every program, ensuring absolute transparency and clarity in terms of attendance, employee engagement, benefits, and ROI.
We developed and implemented "feel good" value-adds above and beyond the scope of our contract, including an Healthy Living Journal that made it easy for employees to see which wellness offerings were on the horizon. This particular offering has since become so popular that we get requests for the calendar-journal months before it comes out!

Three years into our five-year contract with this client, we have seen a significant increase in consistent attendance across all of their wellness programs.

These programs serve some 7500 employees in 5 different locations. As of today we have seen a 69% increase in wellness program attendance since implementing these changes!

The key to such a stark rise in attendance has been the creation of consistent, congruous programs planned well in advance. Another crucial part to our success is making sure employees are aware of each program and have ample time to incorporate these programs into their schedules.

But everything doesn't just fall into place by magic - one of the most important elements of our success during this project has been the freedom to innovate that's been given us by our client.

In Part 2 of this series I'll reveal the key attitudes and core values held by this client; values that directly contributed to the success and ease with which these changes were implemented.

Until then, why not do a strategic assessment of your wellness program and see how your company can increase attendance by 69% or more?

Author's Bio: 

Fran Dean Bishop is an award winning business coach and CEO with 20 years in the health management industry. She founded Aerobodies Fitness Company, (now AFC Management Services), in 1994 as a corporate service provider of health promotion, fitness management and behavior change programs for the private sector and federal agencies. Fran also designed and launched two successful health technology innovations, MyEquilibriumCoach and To request Fran for a speaking engagement or workshop, contact her at – 703-402-8477.