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intel’s health promotion strategy: follow-up questions with michelle james

March 1, 2011

in cohealth

in our february cohealth tweet chat, michelle james spoke with us about intel’s health promotion strategy. the chat was so chock-a-block full of conversation, michelle couldn’t answer all of the questions, so she agreed to do so here on my blog.

before you read on, mark your calendars now for our march 16 tweet chat when we’ll pose the question: when does wellness go from engaging to enforcing? cohealth tweet chats are every third wednesday of the month from noon to one ET.

how do employee expectations [about wellness] change the mix of services and specialities you offer? (from @taylorw)

mj: intel is a very open and direct culture. we expect our employees to provide feedback and make requests to fit their needs—and they expect to be able to. for example, we recently made some changes to our wellness program. we used to offer one visit with a wellness coach each year. based on employee need and requests, we changed our wellness coaching model to offer multiple sessions with a coach.

how do you reach remote employees? (from @aprilmo)

mj: we reach remote employees with targeted emails and home mailings. we also look for opportunities when remote employees will be together. for example, our remote sales field employees have an annual conference. we set up a health and wellness table and health-related events to take advantage of this face-to-face time.

regarding targeted messages, how do you group people: age and gender, or other things? (from @jmcnichol)

mj: yes, we do target employees based on age and gender, and we also consider items such as type of work. for example, we target our manufacturing employees with different information and messages than our office workers. we recently developed a “shift work and your health” video for our manufacturing employees. for our office workers, we’ve created a campaign about the importance of taking breaks and getting up and moving. we play this video in the department meetings, and we play the shift work video in break rooms.

do you have any suggestions for getting information and invites to families? (from @realwellnessRD)

mj: reaching families continues to be challenging, but some tactics that have worked for us include snail mail and events and programs that encourage family participation. we recently opened our wellness program to spouses and domestic partners, and we have onsite fitness classes that allow family members to participate. we’re also working on improving our internet page for family members to make it more interactive and engaging.

do fun walks and runs help long-term objectives, or just with engagement? (from @jmcnichol)

mj: we’re seeing fun walks and runs help with both. they help get the family members engaged, but we’re also seeing that family members are asking when the next event will be held—a shift in culture.

greg and i had a few unanswered questions, too:

how do you measure the effectiveness of your strategy?

mj: we set measurable objectives. we consider participation in wellness programs, risk factors maintaining or improving year over year, and usage of healthcare services, such as preventive care.

whom do you look to for guidance, information, advice?

mj: we benchmark with fortune 100 companies such as dow, pitney bowes, and IBM. we look to the national business group on health (NBGH) and mayo clinic for guidance and information.

what are your barriers to better health?

mj: understanding barriers is ongoing for us. what we’ve indentified so far includes workload, shift work, and confidentiality concerns.

can you share a little more on the development and delivery of your targeted communications?

mj: we typically create and deliver communications internally, but sometimes we work with our vendors to deliver the communications. our program’s confidential, and no identifying information is shared with intel, so we don’t know who has or hasn’t participated, but our vendor does. we may develop a message for non-participants that our vendor would deliver.

thanks goes out again to michelle for being our inaugural tweet chat guest. if you missed the chat, you can read the recap here.

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