Wellness committees can be the driving force behind any company’s wellness program. As the voice of the employees, they’re the ones who can let HR know that the program’s too focused on walking when people are more interested in hiking or biking, or that there need to be more healthy breakfast options in the cafeteria.
A good committee can get everyone excited about the upcoming fun run, choose prizes for competitions, put up posters reminding everyone to get up from their desks once an hour and serve as points of contacts between the people implementing the program and the people using it.
But wellness committees are only effective when the right people are on them, and when they stay organized. Here are some tips to keep your committee running smoothly:
Key 1 - Choose members who reflect the employee base.
Diversity is key. Select members who represent different departments, locations and offices, as well as ages and levels of health. One mistake companies sometimes make is to put only the company’s top athletes on the committee. While all your committee members should be enthusiastic about wellness, be sure to appoint some who are new to fitness and can sympathize with the struggles of less-healthy employees.
Also, make sure your committee members have different levels of seniority and represent different functional areas. It’s an excellent idea to have someone from HR on the committee who’s knowledgeable about regulations, and someone from communications who can help promote events.
The committee should vote on a leader who can keep meetings on track and serve as the main contact person for inquiries.
Key 2 - Rotate committee members on a regular basis.
Have committee members serve for one to two years, then choose new ones to prevent burnout and ensure an influx of new ideas. But don’t change up the entire committee at once. Maintain a mix of old and new members to preserve continuity while keeping things fresh.
Key 3 - Keep meetings organized.
The committee should decide when and how often they want to meet. Once a month is a good average, and more meetings may be needed leading up to big events like health fairs. Though individual committees will need to decide on the level of formality that works for them, having an agenda at each meeting is always a good idea to ensure conversations don’t go off track.
Key 4 - Recognize and reward your committee members.
Your committee members give up their time and work hard to ensure the success of your wellness program, so recognize their efforts in company communications and at events. You may want to give them incentives to join like free gym memberships or free lunches during their meetings.
Your wellness committee can make or break your wellness program. Choose them carefully, treat them well and give them real decision-making power, and they’re likely to reward you with dedicated service.