If launching a workplace wellness program is one of your organization’s goals this year, you aren’t alone. Information gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 39% of all private employees and 63% of state and local government employees had access to wellness-related benefits in 2017. And, in a press release announcing the results of the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2018 Employee Benefits Survey, the organization reported that “[75%] of employers offer wellness resources and information and/or a general wellness program.”
Wellness initiatives may include anything from offering employees health and wellness tips via the company newsletter to operating a complete on-site medical clinic and fitness center. Some organizations employ a full-time wellness coordinator, while others manage wellness with the help of an HR generalist.
Because there can be so much variation between wellness programs and the people who manage them, defining a typical day in the life of a wellness coordinator is tough to do.
But, what I can do is share what the Kadalyst team learned when we spoke with three managers who manage the workplace wellness programs at three different organizations. During interviews with each of these wellness professionals, our team asked them what their job was like.
Are you wondering what it’s like to manage a company’s entire employee wellness program?
A (typical?) day in the life of a wellness coordinator
Being a wellness coordinator is anything but ordinary. As I listened to the interviews that the Kadalyst team shared with me, I soon realized that being a wellness coordinator means wearing a lot of different hats!
The wellness managers we spoke with described being responsible for a wide range of tasks, from budgeting to promotion, all within the structure of their larger organization. In case you are wondering: Yes, things can get complicated.
What it’s like to handle the wellness program for Fred Meyer’s 10,000+ employees
Retailer Fred Meyer’s fitness and wellness coordinator Amanda LaPore told us that she has two wellness-related jobs at her organization. First, she manages the on-site fitness center at Fred Myer’s corporate headquarters. She ensures that the facility is properly maintained and that the various instructors hired to provide classes at the gym are paid.
Programming has to be part of LaPore’s skill set too. LaPore notes that because the fitness center must cater to employees with diverse interests, she has to make the best use of limited space while offering a broad spectrum of wellness-related activities. Did I mention that she’s responsible for sourcing the instructors for those diverse offerings as well?
And remember, that’s just part of LaPore’s job. She is also responsible for managing the rest of Fred Meyer’s wellness program. LaPore tells us that approximately 80% of her time is dedicated to planning, implementing, communicating, and supporting company-wide wellness initiatives. This includes making sure that wellness benefits and challenges are promoted to employees at the company’s more than 3,000 retail stores and distribution facilities. That’s a lot of emailing!
Event coordination is on LaPore’s to-do list too. She manages the logistics of the company’s on-site biometric screens and its wellness expo each year. Plus, she adds at least one more company-wide annual wellness challenge to the mix.
Finally, LaPore serves as the wellness program’s advocate and representative. She’s the person who coordinates communications with the various department heads, the employee cultural council, and other stakeholders to keep the wellness program’s initiatives running smoothly.