Building a successful wellness program within an organization takes time, dedication and effort but it can be done. To be successful, an organization must establish a solid foundation and then add one block at a time as the program begins to thrive. To achieve this success, an organization must identify and implement specific and strategic components – develop an impactful branded program and maintain effective communication – with the goal to obtain leadership support and most importantly, continuous employee involvement.
I have experienced first hand what it takes to launch a successful wellness program and build a culture of health and wellness throughout the organization through my role as an employee programs manager at Crowley Maritime Corporation.
Crowley’s leadership team understands the significance of instilling corporate wellness into the culture of the company. This support is crucial, but even more importantly there is also active and visible participation by upper management – an example of what Crowley calls the “Shadow of a Leader” effect. Through leadership involvement, an example is set; it shows commitment, influences others to participate and highlights the importance of the program. This group of company leaders has even been kind enough to share their personal success stories! Nothing’s better than seeing someone walk the walk, right!?
Utilize active leaders and champions within the organization to promote wellness efforts and encourage other decision makers to get involved.
Spread the word! Branding a wellness program adds the important framework for communicating these efforts to employees, while also making it possible to use the brand and logo to co-brand with vendors, further reinforcing the message. A logo and memorable tagline can also help represent the focus of the company’s wellness program. For instance, Crowley has created a brand and logo focused on their approach to overall well-being called, “Live Well – For Today and Tomorrow.” Once a brand and wellness identity has been created, it can be promoted everywhere: on t-shirts for events, communications, internal websites, etc.
Strategically partner with vendors and internal departments to co-brand and promote wellness while supporting other company efforts.
Crowley’s Live Well messaging is apparent throughout the company’s monthly newsletter, the “Live Well Digest,” and its new wellness-focused intranet website, and was reinforced during the recent “Live Well Road Show.” The Road Show allowed Live Well leaders to visit with employees from Crowley offices across the country and share information about the wellness program, partnering vendors and the revised, incentivized outcomes-based approach which focuses on rewarding healthy behaviors. The more information that is communicated and shared consistently across the organization, the more employees will “get” the big picture and become more likely to adopt elements of the program.
Communicate the wellness program through various venues to provide a consistent message.
There is nothing more exciting, inspirational and helpful than seeing employee participation and hearing testimonials. Since its introduction, Crowley’s employees have taken the wellness program to the next level. As the “Live Well” program continues to grow many employees have bought in and are enthusiastic. They take initiative to implement activities, encourage each other to participate, offer new ideas and more.
Identify supportive influencers within the organization who will spread the word, set an example and create a wellness committee.
Wellness committees are great tools to bring together like-minded employees who can assist with supporting initiatives, taking on responsibilities, and providing feedback and insight. These can double the efforts of the program for additional momentum.
Use these tools to build, develop and expand a culture of health and wellness one block at a time!
About the Mouth
Katy Keene, CWPC is a health and wellness enthusiast both in her personal life and in the workplace. As the Manager of Employee Programs at Crowley Maritime Corporation, she manages a multitude of corporate-wide employee programs, including wellness and charitable giving. As a wellness champion, she focuses on increasing employee engagement, promoting the wellness culture and increasing overall health of the employees. Katy has double major bachelor degrees in Management and Marketing with an emphasis in sales and customer relationship management from Florida State University. She is certified as a Corporate Wellness Program Coordinator, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Personal Trainer, and is a Kickboxing Instructor.