Tag Archives: employee wellness

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!

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

1 Nov

I had the great pleasure of presenting “Kiss My Kettlebells: Examining Corporate Wellness” at the second annual HR Reinvention Experiment, held last week at the Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

What a great discussion!

To give you a sense of our conversation, I first asked participants to explore their own wellness journey, a conversation that isn’t always made and frequently no easy. But I would contend that we will only be able to influence others in wellness if they believe we are active wellness participants– we simply need to be on that journey. If not, we risk looking like hypocrites.

For this exercise I asked them to think about where they were in seven key wellness categories. These seven categories were identified by Dr. Jerry Wagner, who was kind enough to offer them as a resource. You can find out more about them at his web site called Employee Wellness Collaborative.

I appreciated the honesty of the participants regarding where they were on the journey. One person talked about how they were working to improve their financial wellness, an often overlooked but increasingly important wellness category. Our more challenging economic times have certainly put more stress on employees regarding their financial wellness. It was encouraging to hear one participant talk about the financial education programs they have offered their employees, and how that has improved morale and productivity. It’s clear providing resources in areas such as financial wellness will be more important for more employers.

Another participant talked about her challenges regarding career wellness. She has recently completed additional higher education, and is hoping to grow in her current employer. As she was sharing tears welled in her eyes as she discussed her goals and dreams. We have people working with us right now who are also feeling strong emotions about where they are on their wellness journey, and we will gain more productive, committed employees if we can help them achieve their wellness goals.

And what about yours truly? Several months ago I was given some sobering information about those annoying scores like cholesterol and blood pressure. They shook me up a bit, and by good fortune I was given the opportunity to participate in a corporate wellness program that featured these lovely little devices called kettlebells. Several months later I’m in far better shape, and am healthier than I’ve been in years. I told my wife she’s just going to have to figure out another way to get rid of me! In truth, I feel much better, and am glad I’ve gotten a little further along the wellness path.

How about you?