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Applying Quality Management Principles To Wellness: After Action Reports

Well-maintained after action reports (AAR) are living documents that validate the wellness program’s worth to senior management and the wellness manager’s worth during periodic performance reviews. Ideally, an AAR should be developed for every program, but certainly for major events that require considerable effort to put together.

If all components in the following list are in place, the AAR increases a manager’s efficiency by streamlining the process when offering similar future programs.

At a minimum, the AAR should include:

    1. Goals and objectives for the event

    2. Demographics of target audience

    3. Timeline and process for marketing the event: Include copies of all promotional material/articles, drop spots for flyers, group e-mail listings, bulletin boards and marquees used, etc.

    4. Business names, points of contact, phone numbers, and other relevant information regarding key vendors and personnel who directly impacted the program:

    • Procuring hard assets – Furniture, equipment, printed materials, signage, assessment tools, supplies, incentives/door prizes, refreshments, etc.
    • Personnel and their responsibilities – Lab services, volunteers, administrative support, fitness instructors, speakers, etc.

    5. Location: Where, floor space, how early and who to contact to reserve facility, room configuration,etc.

    6. Event summary

    • Activities, event schedule and/or agendas
    • Lesson plans are crucial in maintaining program continuity and quality, especially if different speakers are used to present on the same topic
    • Copies of handouts, learning and assessment tools, audiovisual aids
    • Attendance
    • Pictures of event (if applicable)
    • Evaluations - Critiques, pre-/post tests, biometrics data, aggregate reports, etc.
    • Lessons learned - What was done well, what could be improved upon, and how

Prepare a one-page "executive summary" highlighting the key points of each event and include it with the AAR. Present a copy of this summary to your wellness council and senior management at the conclusion of each event (with a notation that details are available in the wellness manager’s office).

If this same program is repeated, it is only necessary to maintain a chronological record of each event summary as well as notes on anything done differently from previous events.

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