ACEC Life/Health Trust’s Designed Wellness efforts at research are being recognized at a national level. Lindsay Simone (Manager of Wellness Programs, ACEC Life/Health Trust) and Kayla Begley (Wellness Service Representative, ACEC Life/Health Trust), in collaboration with Organizational Wellness & Learning Systems (OWLS), developed and presented a research poster for the 41st Annual National Wellness Conference. Dr. Joel Bennett (CEO) and Michael Neeper (Research Assistant) of OWLS have been gathering information for ACEC Life/Health Trust from over 60 Wellness Champions from over one hundred member firms. Michael Neeper took the lead on the data acquisition and analysis for the project and presented the poster at the National Wellness Institute’s Conference in St. Paul, MN on June 29, 2016. The theme of the conference this year was “Wellness Sustainability.”
Through the Designed Wellness Champion training, many of the engineering firms received guidance on how to develop and share wellness plans with their firm managers and executives. Planning is an important area of wellness sustainability in general, and is amplified in small business. The poster that was presented, shown below, described the methodology used and important outcomes. The purpose of this project was to describe one small section of a comprehensive training program for small business Wellness Champions. Small businesses generally lack the resources to develop extensive wellness programs, which is why wellness champions are so valuable to those organizations.
There are ten other competencies that champions receive training in (e.g., Gaining Support, Communications, Accessing Resources). The research focused on just the “Planning” competency. We developed a Planning Guide for the champions, and scheduled times to demonstrate how to fill out the form, as well as create goals for their respective firms. Five months after they completed the guide, we followed-up with those champions, to see how they were progressing. Of those that responded, 100% had completed at least one goal in one area, and many others reported completing goals in other areas. This suggests that multiple goals are being completed.
Additionally, Wellness Champions were reporting that they were receiving more support from management and taking advantage of more resources available to them. We believe that we won this award because of the detailed methods used, the quality of the training, and the ability to demonstrate effectiveness. Wellness program planning is a strong move toward sustainability. It is also a key competency for Wellness Champions to develop, especially in small business. The research further demonstrates OWLS’ proficiency in developing and disseminating evidence-based workplace health programs and further validates the competency-based Wellness Champion training model, which is being used in the Designed Wellness program today.
Dr. Joel Bennett and Michael Neeper