Taking A Small Group Approach to Big Employee Populations

The paths for starting an employee wellness strategy are many and varied. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution, however it all starts at the same place: with a plan. When you start designing a health and wellbeing framework for your employee population, engagement will be critical to the success of your strategy. Consequently you will need to address this to ensure your programs are utlised and your objectives are achieved.

This is easier said than done when you are looking at a large, diverse group of people, who may well be geographically dispersed and all do different jobs within your organization. In fact, tackling a wellbeing strategy for a large, dispersed and diverse workforce could seem downright impossible. 

If however, you had to design a strategy for just 3 people – each of which are very different, have different roles within the organisation, and are in different locations, it would seem a lot easier, right?

To start a strategy for these three people you would want to get know them better, you would want to learn about their work environments, their day to day tasks and what drives and motivates them at work. You will want to learn what their direct reports would like to get out of a health and wellbeing program and what opportunities as well as restrictions you may face when delivering communications, initiatives and activities in the workplace.

Building persona types that represent your entire employee population is a way of taking a small group approach

Developing personas makes sense when you are wanting to cover a wide audience and design initiatives that address each of the predominant employee types. Personas help you understand the viewpoints and lifestyles of your key stakeholders, so that you can keep their interests and perspectives in mind when developing messages, activities, products and services, and more.

Marketers have been successful in using personas to understand the mindset and emotions of their customers for years. By taking these personas and mapping their journey as a customer they’ve found a way to categorically track each touchpoint the customer goes through until they make the decision to buy. What many HR leaders are now finding is if you replace the word ‘customer’ with ‘employee’ you get the same result.


So what exactly are personas? A persona is a way to model, summarize and communicate information about people who have been observed or researched in some way. Personas are names, faces, personalities, families, traits and more which helps you to conceptualise what that person would need or want in real life. They are depicted as a person, but are fictional characters.

Each persona represents a significant portion of people in the real world and enables the designer to focus on a smaller manageable set of people, instead of focusing on thousands of individuals.

Personas aid in the creation of different strategic designs for different kinds of people, and to design for a specific somebody, rather than a generic everybody

Using personas not only informs you, it lets your employees know you "get them”. By understanding your people you will deliver more relevant experiences and more meaningful messages. You’ll help your key stakeholders deliver the programs your employees want — when, how, and where they expect.

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