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Following the Flock: The Benefits of Participation

by Megan Hunter ASEBP | June 23 2016 | 2 Comments

I’ve been a health advisor with ASEBP for close to four years. During this time I’ve had a blast visiting with individuals in schools participating in wellness clinics and workshops across this wonderful province of ours. I learn something new every single time I deliver a clinic or workshop—that’s a lot of learnings over the course of four years! While I could regale you with the entirety of this education, I thought I’d stick to the topic of clinic participation and endeavor to share more the next time I’m back with you on the Sandblog.

So, what do I know about participation in the wellness clinics and workshops we deliver? A bunch!

The more the merrier

I’ve seen first hand how heavily participation rates rely on the ripple effect. Because the programs we deliver are voluntary, participants must see the value in order to sign up. I know I’m not alone when I say that I enjoy having shared experiences with my friends and colleagues—it gives us something to talk about and a new way to connect. Similarly, participation in clinics grows exponentially if those first few individuals tag their friends to join in the fun.

Follow the leader

While it’s true that the majority of us enjoy group activities, I find that, in the context of the clinics and workshops I deliver, that we also like to follow our leaders. When leadership supports the program—regardless of whether they are able to attend the clinic or not—participation seems to take on a whole new life.

The promise of promotion

Are you the kind of person who can sell a cape to a superhero? If you are, using those skills to promote the wellness clinics and workshops is a sure fire way to get your colleagues signing up to participate! And because each school and jurisdiction is unique, finding ways to promote the benefits of the sessions in ways that resonate with them in particular is a great way to boost that participation number even higher.

Sharing is caring

I can tell you in all honesty that a sure fire way to get people to run and sign up for a clinic or workshop is to hear from their friends that it was helpful. Have a participant that is incredibly gung ho? Ask them to share their story with their colleagues and watch the participant mercury rise!

Generating high participation rates for any kind of wellness initiative can be challenging—this I know. Please share with The Sandbox community in the comments below any other handy tricks you have for ensuring your wellness clinics or events are “well”-attended!

Megan Hunter

With more than 10 years promoting healthy living through recreation, fitness and play within Canada, the U.S. and Europe, Megan is one of ASEBP’s workplace wellness liaison superheroes! A unicorn among unicorns, our resident ray of sunshine leaves rainbows in her wake and knows that there is no unsuitable place to demonstrate appropriate handstand technique—only unsuitable attire.

Matthew M. Alberta Health Services - @albertahealthservices.ca | June 28 2016 12:16 PM

I have found food is ALWAYS a great way to get people through the door! I know it isn't always practical for all workshops and meetings to "provide" lunch, and at times may even feel coercive at times. There are ways to get creative though... Kicking off a day of learning with a healthy potluck might give everyone the opportunity to contribute. Try to infuse different themes (holiday, cultural, etc.) for some extra excitement!

Megan H. ASEBP | July 12 2016 10:42 AM

Matthew, you’re on pointe with your statement! 

One of my dear friends is an Outdoor Pursuits Program Director whose motto is “Food is Love.”  For over a decade she continuously has the best group of hard working employees (new and returning) of whom care for one another and truly know how to have fun.   We all know there are many layers to exceptional leadership to produce teams such as this one, however it’s no question food plays a role! 

 

Food also provides us opportunity to share a positive experience of fun healthy choices as well as add some “oomph” to brainpower during an event or meeting.