Kiss My Kettlebells: Examining Corporate (And Our Own) Wellness, Part Two

6 Nov

As I mentioned in my last post, I had the great pleasure of facilitating a discussion at the second annual HR Reinvention Experiment. My talk was entitled “Kiss My Kettlebells: Examining Corporate Wellness”.

As I mentioned in my first post about the workshop, we spent time talking about our own journey in wellness. I am convinced we can more effectively assist others in their wellness journey if we are actively involved in our own.

In the second part of the workshop, we looked at the elements that make up successful wellness programs. For this section I cited information I heard earlier in their from Dr. William Baun, who heads the wellness effort at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at the first annual Well Being Conference held in my hometown of Omaha. Bill and his colleagues authored a terrific article in the Harvard Business Review (this link will show you the first page or so of the article, but you will need a subscription to read the entire article, which I strongly encourage) that identified six elements that are common to some of the best corporate wellness programs in the country. They are:

  1. Multilevel Leadership, passionate leaders at all levels,
  2. Alignment, where wellness is a natural extension of the firm’s identify and aspirations,
  3. Scope, Relevance and Quality, where wellness meets the unique needs of various employees,
  4. Accessibility, so there is convenience to wellness resources,
  5. Partnerships, that are both internal and external to the organization, and
  6. Communications, that helps overcome apathy and can address sensitivities people may have about their wellness journey.
We had a terrific discussion about these elements, something I strongly encourage you to do where you work. Get a conversation going with key stakeholders to determine where you believe you have strength in these six elements, and where you may also have some gaps. Doing so will help you know where you’re at and what steps need to be taken to move your wellness effort forward.
One of our participants talked about how reviewing these elements helped her rethink her approach to wellness. “We’ve been doing some things here and there, but we don’t have a plan and a design of how this is going to help our company be a better place to work. It’s time to get that discussion going.” That kind of honesty and spirit will make a difference!

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