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Corporate Wellness Action Teams

February 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

Many companies create a central council to oversee employee wellness program activities. However, expecting a single group to assume total responsibility for assessing, monitoring, planning, and developing all corporate wellness initiatives can be cumbersome, overwhelming, and inefficient.

A mega-council inevitably includes members who care only about their aspect of organizational wellness. For example, snack bar managers are primarily concerned about healthful, appealing menu options; so when the discussion turns to stress issues or fun runs, these members get bored and eventually lose their enthusiasm.

Action teams help solve this problem. They become the working arms of the corporate wellness council, allowing it to focus on more strategic issues. Each team leader sits on the central council -- responsible for understanding its goals and communicating to the team how they fit into achieving them. Team leaders also take assignments and feedback to their teams, as well as report to the council on team activities/progress.

Action teams can be used to:

Develop initiatives for specific high-priority lifestyle issues facing the organization: physical activity, nutrition, ergonomics, stress, tobacco use, injury prevention, regular preventive care Market and disseminate information: themes/concepts, calendars, staff briefings, leader updates, fliers, voicemail/email notices, personally inviting employees to participate, creating a buzz for upcoming wellness initiatives Coordinate health fairs/special events: venue equipment, speakers and sponsors Generate ideas to raise morale and integrate fun into programs and initiatives: creative, enjoyable ways to illustrate the corporate wellness program's goals and messages, cartoons/jokes/stories for bulletin boards and meetings, contests, door prizes, team competitions, success stories for intranet, integrating social support with wellness program design Assess and analyze data: focus groups, assessment tools, surveys, critiques, biometrics from health assessments, healthcare utilization patterns, on-the-job injuries, absenteeism, creating program dashboard.

After identifying the need for action teams, determine who should be assigned based on background, expertise, or responsibilities. For instance, it would make sense to have cafeteria staff on a nutrition team, union representatives on a tobacco use team, sales staff on a marketing team, or computer technology personnel on a data analysis team.

Make sure every action team receives basic training on the broader wellness initiatives as well as relevant details of each program component. The members of each action team should be crystal clear on how their contributions relate to the overall work of the wellness council.

Using this structure, each team can focus on their piece of employee health promotion, while staying energized and effective.

Dean Witherspoon, President and founder of employee wellness firm, Health Enhancement Systems, has 25 years in health promotion. He has served on the board of the Association for Worksite Health Promotion and held several regional as well as state offices. Dean is a nationally known speaker and author, having presented at more than 70 conferences and written hundreds of employee wellness articles for national publications.

For more information on employee wellness topics, check out our free white papers at

Contact: Dean Witherspoon, Health Enhancement Systems,, 800.326.2317

Source: EzineArticles
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