Doing WELL: Putting Our Core Values Into Action With a Certificate to Prove it

By Josef Olsen

Hey, did you hear? Vitality received Gold Level Certification from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in fall 2023!

I’ve been intimately involved with this project since 2021, so earning this certification is something I’m particularly proud of. However, I realize not everyone has the privilege of understanding why this certificate is so exciting. The IWBI conducts the WELL Certification process that looks at office spaces’ physical and social environments as they relate to the health and wellbeing of the people who work there. To be certified Gold, an organization must verify it meets all of the WELL Preconditions and at least 40 percent of the Optimization Features. These standards span 10 distinct areas covering everything from the physical space itself (air, water and light quality, movement and thermal comfort) to the policies, benefits, and office culture that shape the social environment. I’ll spare you the fine details, but let me assure you that this was no small effort. Our team at Vitality is proud to have passed the onsite audit and verification after submitting the required floor plans, environmental readings, reports and policies. I am so grateful for the individuals and teams that led our organization to Gold WELL Certification.

To understand why the certification process was so important to our organization, it’s key to understand the Core Values that guide us here at Vitality. We have eight principles that set the standard for our culture, and three were at the center of this project:

  • Force For Good: We are determined to be an exceptional employer, excellent partner and a good corporate citizen.
  • Great People: We believe in attracting great people from diverse backgrounds, with distinctive personal experiences and outlooks. We are the organization that the best people want to be part of.
  • Liberate The Best in Our People: We believe there is greatness in every person and strive to bring this out of them.

I was first introduced to WELL in the fall of 2021 when I was brought on to manage Vitality’s new office build and oversee the move. It was an intense, high-energy environment. Everything was moving fast in a dozen directions and I loved every minute of it. As much fun as I had picking out new furniture, testing coffee and espresso machines, or playing with cool, forward-thinking tech solutions we were building into the space, they pale in comparison to our achieving WELL Gold Certification.

It’s not often that you find an organization that truly stands by its core values. I like to tell people that joining Vitality was a happy accident, but staying at Vitality is an intentional choice. Why do I love working here? Beyond the beautiful new office (obviously!), it’s the people. And its leadership that recognizes its people are their greatest assets. Vitality puts into action their commitment to create the best environment for people to feel welcomed and supported with space to grow. With this great honor of Gold WELL Certification, as LeVar Burton would say, ” You don’t need to take my word for it.”

Josef Olsen is a Senior Vendor Administrator at Vitality. He has a master’s degree in education from Gonzaga University, where he graduated with honors. He considers the best part of any day to be learning something new or a good cup of coffee. He enjoys reading, baking, playing board games, and walking around his neighborhood, pretty much anything you can do while drinking a cup of coffee.

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