8 Life Lessons from the Wellness Workdays Worksite Wellness Conference – Part 2

On Monday I shared four life lessons based on things I heard at the Wellness Workdays worksite wellness conference. Continuing from that post, here are four more lessons from the conference.

8 Life Lessons from the Worksite Wellness Conference – Part 2:


5. Be flexible and creative

Respond to changes in needs and interests. The program planner’s goals/needs and the participants goals/needs often differ. Rarely are things the way we expect them to be. Life in general requires the ability to adapt to new situations and move forward.

6. “Meet people where they’re at, but move with them to meet their goals”

Being accessible and helpful depends on being willing to find out where people are, what their struggles and goals are, and then to walk with them to achieve those goals. I forgot to write which speaker shared this advice with us, but it’s really good, and goes along well with lesson #5.

7. Customize, but not too much

Everyone (every business, every group, etc) is different, but there are basic needs/wants. For example, each company wants to be successful. Most see healthy employees as essential to that goal. However, an employee wellness program for each company looks different depending on the organization’s culture, goals, and other factors unique to that organization. Similarly, people may want/do different things with their lives, but we all want to experience health, love, safety, etc. The way you interact with each person or group of people changes on the culture, background, and so on, but the essential elements are the same.

8. Get started

“To have a successful program, you have to start a program.” Christine Durkee, VP of Human Resources Operations at BJ’s Wholesale Club, shared this with us. It’s similar to the concepts of “just ship it,” “start before you’re ready,” and hackathons. This isn’t saying accuracy, quality, or planning is unimportant, it’s simply a reminder that sometimes we get so caught up in trying to get it right that we never get it out.

What is the lesson that resonates most with you? Let me know in the comments below.

Click here to see Part 1 with lessons #1-4, and here to get posts – on health and wellness, recipes, lessons, social media tips, and more – sent directly to your email.

8 Life Lessons from the Wellness Workdays Worksite Wellness Conference – Part 1

Last weekend I went to Boston, MA to attend the Wellness Workdays conferences on worksite wellness and nutrition consulting. While we reviewed plenty of tips specific to worksite wellness, I noticed that there were several lessons that apply to anyone. I’ve separated them into two posts for quicker reading (you can read each in <5 min) – click to continue to Part 2.

8 Life Lessons from the Worksite Wellness Conference – Part 1:


1. Collaboration/Cooperation is key

Network with everyone you can. Eventually you will get to a place where you will have the ability to offer a mutually beneficial opportunity to one of your contacts. Michele Wise, Senior Benefits Special Programs Coordinator at Brown University, shared some examples of how her wellness program is built on collaboration with other professionals at the university. She drew on professors and staff to give popular wellness-related lectures and workshops. This increased employee engagement in the wellness program, provided interesting activities for employees, and gave the speakers good publicity.

2. Know where to find resources

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Know where to find good resources and you will save time and energy. This can be national/international organizations (like WELCOA in the worksite wellness industry), well-connected or experienced contacts, or even a resource saved from an earlier program.

3. Have a plan for executing your program/project… and for evaluation

It’s great to know what you want to do, but don’t forget to also think about how you’ll know if you’ve done it well. Many worksite wellness programs (and other programs and projects) have no way of evaluating their outcomes. This limits the amount that can be learned from all the work you put in. Don’t let this happen to your project. Have a plan to decide what you will need to measure, and you will be able to take measurements throughout the project, instead of wishing at the end that you’d recorded the required information.

4. Know when to ask for help

There are times when we can do things ourselves, and there are times when it is really best to ask for help/advice (even if we end up doing the work ourselves). Learning to identify the difference in these scenarios is key to success in many situations. Why start from the beginning if someone else has already made the mistake you are about to make? You can learn from their experience and move on from there.

What is the lesson that resonates most with you? Let me know in the comments below.

Continue to life lessons #5-8. If you haven’t already, you can also sign up to get posts – about health and wellness, recipes, lessons, and social media tips – sent straight to your inbox.