by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Wellness steering committees or advisory groups are a common practice in our industry. Their potential is huge if you get the right people on the bus and give them meaningful responsibility. But if they’re simply a sounding board whose ideas get vetoed by your VP, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Here are 3 steps to get it right:

  • Negotiate the team’s makeup and responsibilities. Then draft their charter up front. The group should include rank and file employees as well as top executives with enough juice to pull through important initiatives.
  • Create an inspiring goal. Getting together once a quarter to talk about last quarter’s participation numbers and upcoming programs isn’t inspiring, it’s routine. An all-star team should be striving for all-star caliber performance, and that means setting an aggressive organization-wide health or well-being metric that can be measured — and pursuing it relentlessly until it’s achieved. Then do it again.
  • Weed and feed. Committees should be short-term gigs. And if someone isn’t up to the task, even shorter. But your most prolific contributors should be rotated out after 6 months and replaced by someone as strong or stronger. This creates a sense of urgency to achieve something meaningful and reduces the chances of stagnation or groupthink.
For more ideas, read Why You Want a Wellness Committee That Doesn’t Last

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