Change is hard. It’s difficult enough to change our own behavior, even when we know we’d be better off. Setting out to motivate, inspire, challenge, force, influence, or just plain old lead people to behaviors that encourage better health and higher wellness levels can seem to be an impossible task. Brian Klemmer’s personal development and leadership book, “If How-Tos Were Enough, We’d All Be Skinny, Rich, and Happy” sums up the problem: people don’t change just because they know it’s good for them. Many of our institutions including schools and universities, government organizations, and employers have vested interests in encouraging people within their domains to engage in consistently healthy behavior. We’ve written about Emory University’s partnership with FitBit in a program focused on increasing exercise called the Move More Challenge. Portland, Oregon-based Hubbub Health has programs to help credit union employees engage in healthy activities. Big box store chain Target gave FitBits to all employees in 2015 and sponsored an Activity Challenge to recognize individuals and teams who met or exceeded target objectives.

Montreal-based Rideau Recognition specializes in corporate recognition programs for a wide range of goals. Rideau has developed Vistance Solutions for Performance, Safety, Learning, Milestones, and now Wellness. Rideau’s approach with all of its recognition programs is to develop a means to score performance objectively to obtain what it calls an “RQ Score (Recognition Quotient).”  Rideau shows clients how to use RQ Scores to measure, predict, and improve behavior and results. Rideau’s Vistance Wellness program works with an app available for iOS and Android smartphones. The app focuses on what Rideau calls the “five pillars of health”: Eat a balanced diet, drink more water, exercise regularly, reduce stress, and get enough rest. Rideau organized a 30-day Great Corporate Health Challenge for its clients who use Vistance Wellness. Employees can score points with healthy behaviors during the 30 days, and Rideau will give $2,500 to donate to the charity of its choice to the client company with the highest point total. Rideau places great stock on social recognition as a factor in influence behavioral change. Participants in Vistance Wellness programs are encouraged to share their results and to encourage their peers via social media.

The Vistance Wellness approach combines mobile, gamification, social, and health content in a single application. According to Rideau, multi-modal programs, especially when grounded in the principles of recognition, have a better chance of producing significant change than single mode solutions.