Forming a Wellness Committee
Every organization that implements a corporate wellness program would benefit by forming a wellness committee. The formation of an wellness committee from the start of your program can provide valuable support and will become a part of your wellness team. This wellness committee represents the feelings, opinions, and ideas of the organization as a whole and symbolizes that the program belongs to the employees.
Have enthusiastic, dedicated, outgoing and innovative people on your wellness committee. The wellness committee should be comprised of employees from all levels in your organization. You need to decide how you are going to recruit members. When selecting members of your committee you could ask for volunteers or have upper management appoint members. The wellness committee will have greater success if members volunteer rather than be appointed.
You want employees that are interested in health promotion and supportive of your objectives. Take into consideration the motivation level of your employees, the size of your office, and time constraints when deciding which way to recruit wellness committee members.
During your first meeting with the committee, provide an overview and some background that explains how the corporate wellness program got started in the organization and the goals of the program. This should reveal the mission of the corporate wellness program that has been put in place and the relationship of your corporate wellness program with other organizations and outside agencies.
Some organizations may be working in partnership with other organizations or are receiving outside help or donations for their program. Also ask wellness committee members what their concerns are. Members may have questions that they would like addressed.
Decide among committee members the term for serving on the wellness committee. The wellness committee needs to decide how the membership will be rotated. It is important to bring in new members after a period of time to generate fresh ideas and avoid burnout with other members. To facilitate program continuity, try to keep some previous members that have experience and know how the committee functions. It is also helpful to have meeting ground rules. Here are some suggested ground rules:
- Treat each other as equals.
- Every person has a right to be heard.
- Do not monopolize the discussion or interrupt when somebody else is talking.
- Recognize that sometimes it is necessary to compromise.
- Be on time for meetings.
Future wellness committee sessions should address the goals and challenges that your organization will face, and explore fresh and innovative ways to help overcome these barriers.