Vitality Champs: An inside track to success

October 28, 2014

A survey of trends in corporate wellness by The Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) and Mercer titled the Employee Health Management Best Practices Scorecard was conducted in 2009-2010 and again in 2013. Between the initial and follow-up survey, HERO and Mercer found not only a rise in the number of companies whose senior management was active in health promotion, but also the rate of firms with an organized network of wellness “champions” increased from 22 percent to 34 percent.  While the C-suite may set the tone for corporate wellness, it’s the influence of employee volunteers who are enthusiastic about healthy lifestyles that can drive up wellness program participation by encouraging their co-workers.

Vitality’s Champs program has been active for over five years. It started as a grassroots movement. Vitality members, energized by the program and excited by their results, naturally began to share their enthusiasm and lend their support to fellow workers. Their passion for the program was contagious and soon everyone realized how instrumental these leaders were to its success. Today Vitality Champs is a large, diverse group of volunteers, committed to advancing healthier lifestyles throughout their workplace.

Vitality Champ Ann Wolf likes to lead by example. She’s been a Vitality Champ for three years at CSAA Insurance Group. “I became a Vitality Champ because health and wellness are a priority in my life. I enjoy encouraging others to adopt healthy lifestyles and it’s a great feeling when you can see the change in others.”

SIRVA, a worldwide corporate relocation services and moving company, has four Vitality champs who are making major strides to shift company health. Champ Mike Ostrander says that despite a wide range of employee demographics including age, activity levels, health, and motivations, “the one thing that we all share is a commitment to, and belief in, the program. Our champs are creative and very supportive of one another and the ideas that get thrown on the table for discussion.”

Champs do not get extra rewards, just the satisfaction of helping people they work with. Vitality supports champs with ongoing education and support, recognition, promotional and motivational materials and more.

Hear from Vitality Champs

In addition to acting as program boosters inside their own organization, champs provide Vitality with invaluable feedback about program components, experiences and which activities are most effective for their company culture. Champ Paul Merriman at Veolia, a water services company, has held “lunch and learns” in the office to explain the program, and he has a bulletin board displaying Vitality updates. Being a champ, Paul says, “pushes you to be the best role model you can be.”

Hear from more Vitality Champs.

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