Over the past few months, we’ve shared a series of articles on the importance of Wellness Champion Networks and the value of engaging senior leaders as Wellness Champions. Today, we’ll share a case study illustrating the tremendous accomplishments that are possible when employees, senior leaders and highly trained Workplace Wellness Ambassadors work together to build a healthier work culture.
I recently sat down with Tammy Copenhaver, a graduate of our Master-level Workplace Wellness Ambassador Certification Program, and her CEO, Sara Medley of Mountain-Pacific Quality Health. We discussed the incredible success of their recent workplace wellness challenge, and two key contributing factors: the full support and engagement of senior leaders and CEO and the involvement of the wellness challenge platform, ChallengeRunner.
Check out my inspiring interview with Tammy and her CEO, Sara Medley, for ideas on how to create an executive-supported wellness campaign for your organization.
Laying the Groundwork for Employee Participation
During her time in our Master-level Workplace Wellness Ambassador Certification program, Tammy had the opportunity to engage in hands-on training via the co-creation of an implementable wellness campaign (logo below) with fellow program participants. And, as she and her fellow trainees learned, the key to any successful wellness initiative is employee engagement.
[Wellness campaign Tammy (as project leader) and her project group co-created as part of our Master Ambassador Certification Program deliverables.]
So, when Tammy wanted to launch a wellness challenge for employees at Mountain-Pacific, she began by listening. Now, this was no easy feat, as colleagues are scattered across the country (even as far as Guam), which meant both distance and time zones would have to be factored into any initiative.
With those challenges in mind, Tammy surveyed team members at all levels and discovered their most pressing wellness priority: working more movement into their daily routines. From that survey, the “Spring into Action” Challenge was born.
Meeting the Needs of All
Even knowing her team wanted to move more, Tammy realized each employee was coming to the challenge from a different starting point. Some people were already very active; others were just beginning their wellness journey. She needed to find a way to motivate employees at every fitness level (and at every level of management).
Figuring just about everyone these days has a smartphone (and many also have wearable fitness trackers), Tammy devised a challenge designed to get people tracking their daily steps. Because the team was so scattered, she funneled all tracking through ChallengeRunner.com, a platform that enables employees to self-report their data. The platform also showed participants the weekly leader board, a tool that proved very motivating to her “highly competitive” team.
To keep already-active employees from run-away victories, she set daily limits in the recordable steps section of the challenge. She also launched weekly mini-challenges, like trying one new activity for the week, increasing water intake or adding meditation into their day, so everyone, at every level, had the chance to feel successful.
At the end of the challenge, awards (in the form of paid time off!) were handed out, not only to the top movers, but to participants who had shown the most improvement since the beginning of the challenge! And every participant received a certificate of recognition, signed by Sara, congratulating them for their efforts.
At the end of the challenge, Tammy saw some incredible numbers: 24% of all employees, representing each of the company’s scattered regions, participated in the Spring into Action campaign. And, of that 24%, 66% actively took part in all eight weeks of the campaign.
While these stats on their own would represent a real wellness victory, there was one key participant to whom a good deal of the success is owed: their CEO and active challenge participant Sara Medley.
Buy-in and Support Begins at the Top!
As Tammy explains, Sara, her CEO is always her sounding board for any new wellness initiative at Mountain-Pacific. But her support for a healthy company culture goes far beyond listening.
As Sara says, with her network of highly engaged employees, “The easy job was making sure that I modeled that good behavior, that I try to model it every day and try to be a spokesperson for healthy living, by just living healthily myself.”
To that end, Sara was a regular on the Spring into Action leaderboards, but her Wellness Championship didn’t end there.
She’s also a believer in walking meetings, she says, “So rain or shine, when I’m meeting with my leadership team, we generally (unless it’s snowing and fairly cold) try to walk at least 15 minutes and catch up on things that we don’t need pen and paper or computer for.”
And, as she proved with her top 10 finish in the Spring into Action challenge, Sara says “I believe in leading from the front.” As she continues to do so, she has not only inspired her own employees to lead healthier lives, but she has also earned industry recognition for her inspirational leadership in healthy work cultures.
Having seen the tremendous benefits that her wellness leadership brought to Mountain-Pacific, Sara challenges other senior leaders to take note, jump on board and become a wellness champion for their organization.
“Don’t expect your staff or your team members to do a wellness activity if you aren’t doing it,” she says. “You have to say ‘yes,’ and you have to participate, otherwise it’s not going to work. It’s not going to demonstrate to your team that you really believe in this activity enough to participate.”
The Impact of Their Wellness Challenge on Employee Morale
In 2019, Tammy distributed an electronic questionnaire to garner feedback from staff about their well-being program. She asked what benefits their staff received from the program’s resources and offerings. As she explains…
“Employee morale is crucial to any organization and so when our staff noted our program contributed to better morale (i.e., reported as one of the top two benefits of our challenge), we considered it a huge success!”
In reflecting on the success of this and other company wellness initiatives, Tammy says, “For Mountain-Pacific leadership and myself, we feel our wellness program and campaign success is the combined result of offering employee-centric programs, disseminating comprehensive information on a regular basis, planting seeds for a culture of well-being throughout our entire organization, and having our CEO and senior staff ‘lead by example’.
As Mountain-Pacific’s Wellness Ambassador, I personally consider the positive impact on our employee morale one of the most important results and an indication we are on the right track!”
To learn more about Mountain-Pacific Quality Health visit www.mpqhf.org.
Become a Certified Master Workplace Wellness Ambassador like Tammy!
Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars (Aug. 20, Sept 4, 7, or 11, 2019) to learn how you can become a highly skilled and in-demand Certified Workplace Wellness Ambassador or Master Ambassador, Certified Executive Wellness Coach, etc. New programs commence Sept. 23. Webinar details and sign up >> https://bit.ly/2Knriid
About the Author:
Lisa Kelly, President, Workplace Wellness Centre of Excellence (a division of KWC Inc.), has been cultivating healthy changes within workplaces and with personal clients for over 20 years. Through her “Workplace Wellness Leadership Certification Series” and Executive Wellness Leadership Programs, Lisa’s mission is to create an innovative and collaborative landscape for global workplace wellness that fosters employee-driven, results-oriented wellness solutions that benefit employers, employees, and communities at large.