Creating Cohesive Workplace Wellness Teams November 30th, 2010, by Ken Buckley

There are a lot of good reasons for larger companies to form a wellness team or committee to oversee their workplace health program. An organised administration is crucial for a smooth running program, and spreading the load amongst a team of motivated employees with clear responsibilities is the best way to make sure all of the details are taken care of.

With a wellness team, there’s the advantage of having more members of staff involved in the corporate wellness program – all delivering enthusiasm and the message within the company. Plus there’s the bonus of having multiple employees involved in the delivery of the program so that if one member is called away then another member can take over to maintain the program without any significant interruption.

Where resources are limited and an entire team seems like overkill, smaller businesses may prefer to appoint a ‘wellness leader’ to oversee the day to day running of the program and liaise with external wellbeing consultants. However the guidelines for selecting either a single employee or a group of employees to manage a program run along the same lines.

Appointing Wellness Teams and Leaders
In most cases where an external corporate health program provider is hired to design and deliver a program, it isn’t necessary to hire new staff to take on wellness leadership roles. Instead, existing staff should be selected to form a wellness team and take on responsibilities for particular events and initiatives. Organisations with HR professionals will usually start here first as there should be HR involvement, but a wellness team works best when members represent a cross section of the company with staff from a range of organisational areas.

After deciding on the number of wellness team members required, and from which departments they should be chosen from, certain personal characteristics and interests should play a role in the selection process.

Employees with a desire to help and support other staff members should be on the top of the list when appointing wellness team members because a friendly, supportive ‘go to’ person is a wonderful asset to have when encouraging staff to make healthy positive changes to their lifestyle. A personal commitment to a healthier lifestyle is also important, although remember that you don’t need to head your wellness program with marathon runners. Moderation and small steps toward better health is what we’re aiming for, so having someone modelling those behaviours is ideal. Other personal characteristics that should be considered include enthusiasm, organisation and attention to detail.

Once the members of the wellness team have been selected it’s necessary to delegate tasks within the group, so next week I’ll be discussing the assignment of key responsibilities for company wellness leaders.

For more information on how to create a Workplace Wellness Team, contact Healthworks on 1300 90 10 90 (International: IDD 61-2-9954-1888 ) and be sure to quote: “post856” for eligibility of Healthworks latest online offers and Corporate Health initiatives.

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