Susie Ellis, Chairman and CEO, Global Wellness Institute
Susie Ellis, Chairman and CEO, Global Wellness Institute

The good news? More companies, large and small, are recognizing that helping employees stay healthy is a good idea. The bad news? No one has figured out how to do it. Hence the mess.

But I also see opportunity. And that’s what’s on my mind.

This is the year to seize this opportunity—together. It’s one of the reasons this topic will be on our agenda at the Global Wellness Summit in Mexico City this November. The timing is right. In preparation, I’d like everyone to experiment with workplace wellness in their current workplace: Try something you think could make a difference. And let me know what you learn.

While the U.S. is currently a bit more engaged with this issue than many other countries, it is beginning to be a global conversation. Those of us in the wellness world need to be part of the conversation—no, actually, I think we should be leading the conversation. Why? Because we have been working for a long time to help people make positive, long-term, lifestyle changes. We know the impact these changes can have. And that’s part of the opportunity for our industry.

Most companies are currently wading through the “noise” out there, trying to learn about what works and what doesn’t work. It’s overwhelming because there is a lot of conflicting data. Turns out it is somewhat of a complex undertaking.   

We know for sure there is no magic bullet. We know it isn’t just education that is needed but motivation, inspiration and community building. We know that leadership and culture are important and that carrots and sticks can become a minefield.   

So at the Global Wellness Institute, we’re wading into the “mess” and exploring workplace wellness in our 2015 research report. We want to know how to make workplace wellness really work! We want to look at this topic through our wellness lens, offering a new perspective. Katherine Johnston and Ophelia Yeung, our senior research fellows, have been combing through the literature, interviewing experts and preparing several surveys that will result in what I believe will be a definitive report on the subject. They will be presenting the results at the Mexico City Summit.  

I am also enjoying reading through past research studies and what’s been written about this topic lately (it’s a lot). And I find myself engaged in conversations with many people about their experiences or viewpoints. And I am learning a great deal about what works and what doesn’t work from personal experience instituting a program in our company. It’s fascinating, and the more I hear, the more I know we all have a ways to go!

So the bottom line is I want to encourage everyone who is coming to the Summit to address the workplace wellness issue at your place of work now. Do something—anything. Because as the topic is explored, the opportunities for those of us in the wellness world will come into focus. This is an arena that we haven’t even begun to tap. 

3 thoughts on “What’s on my mind? Workplace wellness is a mess. I think we can help.”

  1. Hi Susie,

    We at The Yamuna Brand have been speaking out and taking action about the importance of the work place being a key place to actually take care of your body while working! We have developed wellness products and education that have been being used successfully by people on the job for over 20 years. Research tells me, that people are more apt to do wellness things at work, than try to "fit them in" after work. Taking care of your body and working at the same time is a great selling incentive and people are more apt to do 2 things at once!

  2. Hello Susie, we at Noel Asmar Group incorporate wellness into our corporate life … Besides providing personal fitness trainer to come in two times a week in the middle of the work day and we have more than 95% of our staff taking advantage of it… We also talk about wellness, mindfulness and ways to build our lives around our passions .. Make mindful choices and not to be choose to be the victim of what others impose on you. … I am passionate about this — if you get the chance read THRIVE by Arianna Huffington – cofounder of Huffington Post .. Relevant book on this subject

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