In a business setting, the word “committee” can often evoke a negative response from many leaders and colleagues. This negative reaction is often prompted by a personal experience with a well-intentioned-committee-gone-wrong and we have all had an experience like this. C’mon, you remember… that committee you served on where every member lacked commitment to the cause.
Yeah, the one where the members were only interested in furthering their own ill-defined goals.
Uh huh, that’s the one…the one with too many Indians and not enough Chiefs!
Well in the case of an employer sponsored wellness program, a committee (and the employee’s perception of this committee) can make or break the success of the wellness initiative.
Below are five reasons that your company needs a wellness committee to help propel your efforts into the next stratosphere. And for good measure, I have included one recommendation for redirecting the negative perception of a “committee”.
5 Reasons A Wellness Committee Is Essential
- Your organization’s Wellness Committee ultimately directs the path of your wellness program because they serve as the voice of your employee population. The committee members will relay the wants and needs of the employees when it comes to their health. They will also be able to communicate the wellness initiatives that employees responded favorably to and deliver constructive feedback on the initiatives that require some refining. These opinions will become vital to the forward momentum of your organization’s program.
- The Wellness Committee serves as a lightning rod for your program, as your feet on the street, as the program cheerleader, really any metaphor for you can come up with that relates to communicating the program details. Without the committee to provide a direct line of communication and serve as indirect liaisons, the intent of your program will be lost.
- Undeniably, organizations develop their own culture and subcultures. These subcultures which are defined by each department or each team can all be affected by the wellness program in a different manner. A Wellness Committee will help you understand these subcultures and adapt wellness programming to complement the subcultures versus oppressing them. This ensures that wellness programs are not misinterpreted and allows for better buy-in and appreciation.
- A Committee can provide your organization with a wider variety of talents and perspectives. This can greatly enhance everyone’s experience with the Wellness Program! After all, a sustainable wellness initiative is one that offers creative solutions to reduce inefficiencies, reuse best practices, and recycle your resources!
- One underutilized function of a Wellness Committee is the ability for membership on the committee to be used as a great recognition tool. Just think, your organization can use membership on the Wellness Committee as a reward for exemplary employees who have internalized the mission and vision of the wellness program. This recognition and added value of the committee can serve as a budget-friendly way to interject new and fresh ideas from those who have adopted their own successful wellness journey.
A Suggestion On Reversing the Negative Perception of the “Committee”
If the negative perception is a result of calling your Wellness Committee a “committee”, then simply rename your Wellness Committee to something fun and full of flavor. Consider nicknames such as: The Wellness Warriors; Health Promotion Hustlers; etc…
Madison Cofield is a St. Augustine native who joined The Bailey Group after graduating from Stetson University with a Bachelor’s in Business Management. Cofield progressed into the Director of Health Promotion role after earning her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of North Florida in 2012. She currently works with TBG's Small Group clients as an Account Executive.