News & Press: NWI News

Raise the Bar and Raise Your Voice

Friday, January 24, 2020   (1 Comments)
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You are the difference between status quo and spectacular. Early in my career, some of the best advice I received was from one of my mentors who said “consider status quo as the slowest form of death! Raise the bar and raise your voice when you can, and when you do, watch for spectacular things to occur.” 

So today, you are going to be tasked with a few interesting thoughts about why a lack of growing your view on life and on the health and well-being of those around you will never change until you open your eyes to the reimagined! 

Thought 1: If you believe that the only way to get people to change behavior is to incentivize them, congratulations on status quo. Here are great articles that can help you overcome your current opinion. By the way, incentives can be helpful, you just have to understand how to use them properly and know your audience. 

Thought 2: Status quo is measuring wellness with health outcomes only. The top health-related issues worldwide are caused by tobacco, poor nutrition, vaccine hesitancy (or lack of them), and poor physical activity. Health outcomes would include cancer rates, diabetes rates, number of diseases contracted from a lack of vaccines, and asthma. Health leaders would treat these health outcomes. Wellness champions consider environmental factors such as social connections through tobacco use, cultural norms for certain types of foods, and understanding how genetics plays a part in health (genetic testing was the focus of NWI’s last webinar). Health and wellness experts come together to determine how to get better access to nutritional food, reduce tobacco use, and increase vaccine utilization, but do so with a different view of the problem. Health outcomes are a critical aspect of your wellness strategy – but measure the whole picture so you can realize true success.

Thought 3: Wellness as a program, a resource, or a benefit is the status quo of status quos! Stop thinking you can hand out wellness to people by handing them a fitness tracker, adding some fruit in a vending machine, analyze health analytics, and purchase a mobile wellness app. These are tools that can be utilized to drive participation and engagement, but this is not wellness – NOT EVEN CLOSE. Wellness is functioning optimally within the environment to learn and grow professionally and personally. Wellness at work helps you recruit and retain good employees. Wellness helps your community drive the economy so there are opportunities for current residents to stay and new residents to move to the area. Wellness is providing purpose to individuals, so they become contributors rather than consumers. Wellness is measured through economic factors, productivity factors, social factors, emotional factors, spiritual factors, intellectual factors, and of course health outcomes. 

Thought 4: Wellness is one tool, one program, one promotion, one outcome for everyone is simply a failed status quo (and quite frankly, lazy). Great wellness strategies start with asking five questions. What are you trying to change in your life? Do you have a personal reason to make this change? Are you ready to make the change? Are you ready to begin today? HOW CAN I/WE HELP? This might be a pack a day smoker, but he/she may not be ready to tackle that health issue. Maybe they are ready to learn how to manage their finances better. Guess what, in this case, you would be more inclined to discuss the smoking habit from a financial cost rather than a health cost. We must get away from one-size-fits-all programming, because it is a major reason your wellness and health initiatives are not working. 

Quit doing wellness and start championing wellness. Get trained and get your team trained on the proper techniques, strategies, and competencies needed to deliver a holistic and comprehensive wellness strategy. 

It is good to be well!

Chuck Gillespie, CEO, National Wellness Institute


Change Craft says...
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Thanks for the great thoughts Chuck. At the risk of overburdening everyone, I'd add a couple of additional thoughts to support yours as we re-imagine wellness in 2020. Firstly, it's not a fix - don't try to solve employees 'problems'. In this role, we should not act like physicians as we're not trying to solve an ailment. Rather think about creating a space where employees can practice healthy behaviors as if it was the most natural thing to do - "the way we do things around here". Secondly, move your businesses culture towards allowing employees to be themselves. Allow them to bring their authentic selves into the workplace - they should not be a different person in the workplace and out of it. This means a level of psychological safety that poses a serious but worthwhile challenge for many organisations. Keep those thoughts coming, Chuck!