Kadalyst Conversations: Resources to Help an HR Generalist Learn More About Wellness Programs with Samantha Meneses at Nautilus, Inc.

Workplace wellness or well-being programs have become an increasingly common part of company benefits packages. Not only do company-sponsored wellness initiatives help improve the health of your workforce, but employees like them. The article, Study: 85% of companies say wellness programs bolster employee engagement, cites a Virgin Pulse report indicating that employers’ recruitment, retention, and company culture all benefit when the organization has a successful wellness program.

Despite the popularity of wellness programs, however, not every organization has the capacity to support an independent wellness department. Often, wellness programs are managed by a company’s HR department, along with its other benefits programs.

How does an HR Generalist find the time and knowledge to manage a company-wide wellness program? That was one of the questions the Kadalyst team had for Samantha Meneses, an HR Generalist at fitness equipment company Nautilus, Inc., when we met to discuss Nautilus’ Road to Wellness program.

Discovering wellness as a part of HR

Meneses explained that, like many organizations, Nautilus doesn’t have a dedicated wellness department. However, the company does have a strong commitment to wellness. When she interviewed to join Nautilus’ HR team, she was asked what she knew about wellness programs. At the time she knew very little, but that was about to change. Soon she was helping to maintain Nautilus’ substantial wellness efforts as a part of her new job.

To improve and expand the Nautilus wellness program, Meneses began by studying. She researched the successful wellness programs of other companies. And she began learning about how the wellness program at Nautilus operated. She said that getting up to speed was particularly important to her because Nautilus regularly won accolades for its fitness-friendly and health-focused workplace.

To learn more about how she got up to speed, we asked Meneses where she found the information she needed to learn more about corporate wellness programs and she eagerly shared the following list of resources.

Online research

Meneses began her search online by locating wellness industry websites and blogs so that she could read about the basics.

Existing programs

Meneses said that she also searched for companies offering wellness programs in the Pacific Northwest region. She wanted to see what other successful organizations were offering their employees.

Interest groups

The meeting that led to Meneses’ interview with Kadalyst began with the Worksite Wellness Network (WWN). This regional organization serves as an information and networking resource for members of the wellness community. This network provided her with introductions to other area wellness professionals as well.

Other organizations, such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), are also great resources for HR teams in need of support and guidance to help them manage their companies’ wellness programs.

Conferences

Attending meetings, the WWN summit, and other networking events connected Meneses with even more wellness professionals who could offer her tips and advice. Several wellness conferences take place around the country each year. Attending one is a fun and easy way to get caught up on the latest wellness news.

Vendors

Meneses noted that health and well-being industry participants and vendors have been very supportive of her company’s wellness program and its initiatives. She shared that area wellness experts regularly provide on-site presentations to Nautilus employees free of charge.

Benefits providers

While health- and wellness-related vendors are an excellent resource for learning more about the current state of corporate wellness and for finding resources to supplement your wellness program, don’t overlook the services offered by your company’s health insurance providers.

Meneses said that she doesn’t think people realize how many free wellness services are available through their insurance providers.

Improving employee well-being is a community-wide effort

In support of corporate wellness programs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention writes, “On average, Americans working full-time spend more than one-third of their day, five days a week at the workplace. The use of effective workplace programs and policies can reduce health risks and improve the quality of life for American workers.”

Improving employee health and well-being is good for your organization and the community.

For that reason, we want to make sure that you have the resources you need to manage your company’s wellness program, even if you are an HR team of one. If you have questions about how to begin or improve your company’s wellness program, get in touch. We’d love to help you bring improved well-being to your community.

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