Thrive Summit

Employee Experience Track Recap

5 sessions, 12 speakers, invaluable insight

Everyone’s Homebase for Health®looks different and should meet them where they are in their unique health and wellbeing journey. Throughout the Employee Experience track, our attendees shared in the stories and heard the expertise of Virgin Pulse community stakeholders that inspired new ways for them to implement a supportive, inclusive, and engaging health and wellbeing program for their organization and membership.

Relive and/or learn about some of the creative ideas and best practices we heard from many of our innovative expert speakers below.

Top takeaways

  1. Recipe for a Successful Wellness Ambassador Program
    • Recruit volunteers – they are intrinsically motivated! 
    • Discover their “why” – this is the key to getting their support
      • Recruit employees with a passion for wellbeing
      • Implement an application process 
        • Include a “why” question in the application
        • Example: “Which wellbeing pillar are you most excited to promote?” A question like this gets them thinking about their why and gives you more insight into where you have champions and where they’re needed 
    • Keep them in the loop
      • Share data – sharing insights helps to get your ambassadors involved in what you’re doing, and they’ll want to help you reach your goals
      • Example: If you’re running a Virgin Pulse step challenge, share weekly results across departments, regions and countries compared to the year prior, so that your ambassadors can see how you’re scaling and what that looks like
      • Please note: be mindful not to share any personal data 
      • Meet quarterly
      • Create a private chat channel to regularly push information to ambassadors
    • Give out recognition
      • Use an internal recognition program
      • Example: Caught in the Act Program – each month, wellness ambassadors nominate one another when they go above and beyond. This individual is recognized in the internal newsletter and celebrated throughout the organization. This approach is a great low/no-budget option!
    • Give them a voice
      • There’s a balance between soliciting input and then opening the flood gates for too many opinions – give this some structure!
      • Example: Vote on challenge themes or campaigns – bring them along in the process of narrowing down ideas for Virgin Pulse Step Challenges that will be presented to leadership 
      • Performance goals – not tied to their role’s KPIs but specifically for the program. This is a great opportunity for them to showcase their contributions to their culture and gain additional exposure to leadership 
  2. Trust + Fun = Comfortable Change
    • How to build trust 
      • Get to know your organization personally
      • Provide a personalized response to issues
      • Make yourself known and readily available
    • How to make it fun
      • Provide opportunities to focus on the future
      • Bring popular social events and trends to your organization
      • Celebrate national health observances
  3. Align wellness initiatives with your organization’s goals and values.
    • Where leadership has so many competing priorities to ultimately grow the business, it’s critical that they understand that your wellness program also supports those goals, and instilling this understanding will help you to gain their buy-in
  4. Customization is key – Integration of custom content is a key element of promoting resources, benefits, internal programs/events, and actions we wish for associates to engage in/with. 
    • Examples:
      • Target content to create healthy habits
      • Customize at least one challenge per year and make it personal to your people 
  5. Simplification is critical to a successful wellbeing program. Navigation and advocacy programs personalize the wellbeing experience which in turn makes it easier for employees to understand what benefits are currently available to them and increases utilization and engagement of these benefits. 

Impactful speaker quotes

Champions are the heart of our program. If we didn’t have the champions, we wouldn’t have the programs we have today. We wouldn't have the engagement level we have with our employees.” - Laura Higginbotham, Owens Corning

It starts with you. You need to participate to get others to engage.” - Dr. Grace Ingram, City of Alexandria

We heard that the average time someone spends in the portal is 70 seconds, 7 times per day, which is less than 7 minutes – I call it time confetti – you might not have time for a 90-minute cross-fit class but you’re going to have 70 seconds to get in, review a few cards and maximize the points you can get for whatever it may be – so I try to encourage people to take advantage of the small amounts of time and know that the platform was intentionally wired so you don’t spend a bunch of time on it like other social media channels – get in, get out.” – Bekki Early, Equinix

Health is a continuum. There’s always something more we can do to be a little bit healthier.” - Tawny Espinoza, Community Hospital

We all find value in supporting the individual’s personal wellbeing, but that’s not going to solve cultural burnout. That’s a systemic issue. It takes organizational time and commitment.”  - Sarah Green, Gallagher

Breakout Sessions

thrive day 1 crowd
Company Culture Track
Instill a culture of acceptance, inclusivity, and engagement
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Healthcare Costs Track
Identify and prevent additional health care costs
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