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Do You Have a Stealth Plan for Corporate Wellness?

POSTED BY
Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan on April 25, 2017 04:15 PM

On the first day of the Health and Benefits Leadership Conference, attendees learned how to be HR superheroes with amazing superpowers…

thanks to Laura Putnam, CEO of Motion Infusion, and her keynote session, “Workplace Wellness that Works: 10 Steps to Infuse Well-Being and Vitality into Any Organization.”  (For an overview of Laura’s conversation, check out these very cool illustrated notes that were captured by conference sponsor Maestro Health, in partnership with Ink Factory.)

Laura, with her tremendous energy and obvious passion for employee wellbeing, might very well be a superhero herself. Not only is she the CEO of a company focused on wellness, she’s a dynamic speaker, motivational trainer, adjunct professor, consultant, author and former personal trainer. She encouraged all of us in the room to go stealth with corporate wellness programs as a way to increase employee engagement and corporate buy-in.

Laura connected her advice back to a basic human principle that’s familiar to all of us (especially me). When we’re told what we should do and what’s good for us, we want to do the opposite. No surprise, right? Could this be the core reason that employee engagement with corporate wellness programs is low?

RELATED: 6 Work Perks to Improve Employee Engagement

Laura’s stealthy strategy to combat this common challenge: incorporate wellness into the many important corporate initiatives that your HR team is already spearheading, as well as the little ways that your managers engage with employees every single day.  As Laura pointed out, think of the budget that’s typically available for these types of corporate initiatives vs. anything with “wellness” in the name. It’s a way to build engagement across your organization over time, and a covert way to get C-level buy-in for wellness programs.

Some of Laura’s suggestions for going stealth with your wellness strategy:  

  • Encourage your managers to incorporate wellness into staff meetings by having standing sessions, promising not to schedule meetings after 2 on Fridays, or by offering a moment of silence at the beginning of each session.

  • Think of the safety initiatives that are so critically important to you, and your C-suite. Don’t most of the compliance initiatives actually center around Health AND Safety? Build wellness into existing training sessions and messaging. If your employees are happier, more present and productive because wellness is top of mind, imagine how much safer your company will be as a result.

  • Put a wellness spin on your community outreach programs. Laura mentioned Square, a point-of-sale service, as an example. Their HR team coordinates weekly street cleanups in surrounding communities as a volunteer activity. Not only are employees away from their desks and moving as part of this, but they are connecting directly with their communities. They’re doing good and feeling good as a result.

  • Utilize leadership development programs are a natural opportunity to create wellness ambassadors at work. During these sessions, reinforce that employee wellness is a core responsibility for your managers. Encourage them to take small actions to enable employee wellness. Give them the tools to check in with their teams to regularly evaluate their stress levels. For example, where are teams on the scale between firefighting and burnout? Finally, are managers leading by example, both in how they take care of themselves, as well as how they engage and empower their teams?

RELATED: 9 Holistic Wellness Initiatives Employees Appreciate


Going stealth with wellness is a great way to build engagement and adoption of your programs. Plus, who doesn’t love using one of their superpowers at work?

If you’d like to learn more, here are some additional resources that Laura shared during her session:

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Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan

As Director, Sales and Marketing at Care.com, Heidi is responsible for developing innovative, results-driven programs for Care@Work – a consumer-centered portfolio of family care for employers and their diverse workforce. Passionate about helping HR professionals improve the lives of their employees, Heidi follows and writes about the top trends and research impacting both employees and employers in the workplace, including the future of work, consumerism and HR, building employer brands, pay equity and paid leave policy, and company culture. Prior to joining Care.com, Heidi led marketing teams at a variety of technology companies including Constant Contact. She lives north of Boston with her husband Brian and their “daughter” Lexi – a 10 lb. Shih-Tzu therapy dog.