Corporate Wellness can bring a multitude of opportunities for registered dietitians. Corporations are now spending more and more money on prevention and health programs for their employees. Some of the various examples of possible corporate opportunities for an RD are the following:
Weight management programs for employees which can include (but not limited to) webinars, online food tracking tools, and weight management contests Monthly cooking demonstrations Lunch-and-learn presentations including various health and wellness topics (develop a series of presentations) Food service consulting including menu analysis and menu enhancement
So how do you get into the door of these corporations with your program proposals? Take a look at these tips from the experts: Denice Ferko-Adams, RD, President of Wellness Press and the 2011 Weight Management DPG Symposium Chair, recommends building contacts from your current work, family, and friends and network as much as possible to find the best contact person within the company. Networking at the local Chamber of Commerce is a great start.
Elysa Jacobs, RD, a Certified Personal Trainer and Corporate Wellness Expert, whose work can be seen at the Pitney Bowes wellness program, advises to research the company before approaching them so you know your prospective corporate client and what potential program proposal may interest them. Many corporations may already have a comprehensive wellness program. If this is the case, it is important to offer a program proposal which can be integrated into their current program.
Pitch your program to the local media, informs Ferko-Adams. Many business leaders follow the news and may be interested in your program.
Develop a plan, asserts Jacobs. Make sure to know what your goals are, what your program will accomplish, and the details of your program. When you approach the corporations, you can provide them with specific information and show them the value you will bring to their employees.
Some of the most common challenges when approaching corporations to implement or enhance an existing corporate wellness program are the following:
No funding. Ferko-Adams states, “expect that your services are not in the budget and be able to show why they cannot afford to ignore the problem of weight and obesity.” Provide the corporation with facts and details about your program and possible past successes so that they see how invaluable you are and how your program can actually decrease the cost of their health care by improving their employee’s health rate.
Timing. Jacobs reminds us that we may have “a fantastic program, but the corporation might have too many initiatives already planned, and they may plan well in advance. If at first you hear no, ask when there would be a better time for your initiative, or if there is a modified version you can start with (for example, if you want to do a 10 session workshop and you are told ‘we have too much going on,’ propose to start with a 2-3 session pilot).”
Finding the right person. Life is always about who you know. Both Ferko-Adams and Jacobs reminds us to find the right contact person within the corporation. This person could be the Wellness Manager, Human Resources Director, Benefits Manager, etc. Once you find this person, be persistent and be prepared to follow-up at least 10 times. Persistence is everything.
Developing a corporate wellness program is the first step. The next step is finding the right contact person within the corporation. The third step is being persistent and knowledgeable about the company’s needs. Focus on your marketing skills and you can land that corporate contract and implement your wellness program.