How to Build a Great Workplace Wellness Committee with Employee Volunteers

Sometimes I think most of the problems in the world happen because really smart people are in charge of everything. Maybe average people – using their horse sense, tendency not to over-think, and naïve belief that problems can actually be solved to the benefit of all – should take over all strategic decision making. For everything and everywhere. Why hedge?

Workplace Wellness: Two Fatal Flaws

My family and I embrace a wellness lifestyle. Our wish for everyone would be to experience a full, holistic life of great health. In fact, we turned that passion into a business idea more than 30 years ago. Although our business has been successful, the mission is still incomplete. The citizens of our nation are in poor health, and there’s not a scalable solution to solve that problem in sight.

Still, I am an optimist. Some very good and unique ideas are out there. If you’d like a glimpse of the future of workplace health, check out Jon Robison, PhD, and Rosie Ward, PhD. Full disclosure here: We’re going to publish an upcoming book the two are working on. Their ideas are born of experience and get to the core issues of how to build healthy organizations.

For now, we have to take stock of the workplace wellness situation as it is.

Can Workplace Wellness be Low Cost and Still be Good? Yep, Here’s How…

This week we’re re-printing trend #4 from our popular eBook, New Perspectives in Wellness and Benefit Communications. Although we wrote this a couple years ago, we’re seeing a lot more interest in tapping into local communities to power workplace wellness programs. Not only are the resources rich, but most of them are free. Enjoy!

Your Community is an Untapped Gold Mine Waiting to be Discovered

How would you feel if a great fresh food chef offered to take your employees to the local farmers’ market and show them ways to buy and prepare food in quick, easy, nutritious ways? Sounds like fun.

Or if the local sports store was heading up a program that offered a cool and rewarding way to get young girls interested in running to build their self-esteem and confidence at the same time? Outstanding.

Think about the bicycle shop offering a family riding tour on the local rails-to-trails route. What a great day that would be.

What if the most insightful thinkers and scholars in health and human behavior from the local colleges were ready and willing to share their wisdom and insights with you all the time? Invaluable.

All the above are examples of actual events taking place in our home community of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

What’s the True Value of Workplace Wellness?

In a word, “productivity” is the value proposition of workplace wellness. But not like the kind where Lucille Ball tries to meet a quota in packing boxes of candy. Although many wellness “experts” still see the work world like a candy factory. Productivity at growing enterprises mean that their cultures nurture relevant innovations. Without new products and services, growth is unsustainable.

The barrier to entry has almost disappeared for most industries, resulting in highly competitive markets. If you’re building nuclear subs, freight train routes, or super tankers, you may have less competition than the new, local dry cleaners. But competition is dramatically increasing for every workplace as the world shrinks.

Wellness 101: What I Learned About Workplace Health in My First 31 Years on the Front Line

With endless possibilities for getting people together doing thousands of different activities, why is it that workplace wellness has gotten so clinical and narrow?

Here’s a locker room metaphor of Primary Prevention vs. Secondary Prevention, presented in the form of an infographic (a powerful communication tactic, by-the-way). Part of the problem with many workplace wellness programs is that they’ve drifted into practicing medicine. They’re operating almost entirely in the yellow and red areas of this chart. And they’ve done so without realizing it.