What Is a Wellness Champion?

A new corporate wellness program, no matter how great it is, will only be effective if employees register and use it. At Burnalong, we’ve found that internal wellness champions can be an effective and engaging way to help fellow employees sign up for the wellness program, start engaging, and remain active for years to come. 

But what is a wellness champion? What can they help with? What types of tools and resources will they need to receive to be impactful? Let’s dive in to find out.

What Is a Wellness Champion?

Wellness champions are people who help accelerate the adoption of wellness programs and initiatives, serving as on-the-ground connectors to ensure the long-term success of wellness among their colleagues. A champion is someone that inspires, encourages, and leads people on their journey to a healthier and happier life. 

Champions are not necessarily fitness experts and they don’t have to be managers. Simply put, champions are dynamic, encouraging, and passionate people who work with HR and leadership to help colleagues benefit from your corporate wellness initiative. 

What Does a Wellness Champion Help With?

Depending on your internal structure, wellness champions could be a part of an existing ERG or they could be part of a larger network across your organization though they focus on specific teams or departments. 

They partner with you to develop wellness initiatives, challenges, and campaigns to impact employee health and wellness. Champions can help: 

  • Communicate these initiatives, challenges, and campaigns to employees via email, chat, intranet, etc.
  • Motivate employees to participate in the wellness program 
  • Foster collaboration between employees around their health and wellness 
  • Coordinate and facilitate health and wellness activities for individual departments or teams 
  • Track progress and measure success of the wellness initiatives, challenges, and campaigns they are helping develop on the ground

They can serve as a bridge to connect the employees they are close to during their day-to-day and leadership to provide direct feedback about what they need when it comes to their health and happiness at your organization. 

What Resources Does a Champion Need?

Like with any employee-led program, it is important that you set clear expectations. If you have specific items or goals for them, make sure that they know and you provide them as much support, as possible. 

Some tools that would be reasonable to provide are: 

  • Wellness calendar with ideas on campaigns, challenges, events, etc. Burnalong provides a suggested wellness calendar for all of our clients and champions can pull from there or branch out with their own ideas! 
  • Weekly or monthly emails to champions with details about what is happening with the wellness program, updates, and exciting new features
  • Running workshops around best practices within health and wellness (these can be something you help your champions plan and run for their colleagues)
  • Implementing regular check-ins with your champions to collect feedback, ideas, testimonials, and brainstorm for future activities

Champions can be as creative and come up with their own initiatives but some ideas for things they could do to generate excitement and engagement are: 

  • Share internal messaging from leadership emails with more organic tools like Slack or Teams to encourage discussion 
  • Implement recurring meetings where champions can host wellness events, discussions, or offer a group class
  • Distribute physical marketing materials like flyers, stickers, postcards, or swag to increase awareness of your wellness program
  • Relay announcements during existing team meetings about upcoming activities or challenges
  • Host office hours to brainstorm wellness initiatives with their colleagues

Want Some Support?

At Burnalong, we want to make sure you are well-equipped for a successful launch of your wellness program and create long-term engagement with your workforce. To support you, we have a full ebook with strategies and suggestions to launch a wellness champion network at your organization. 

If you are a client of Burnalong and want help creating a champion network, reach out to your rep. If you’d like to learn more about our client services, schedule a quick call so we can chat through ways to support your wellness goals!

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