Form the wellness committee

Forming a wellness committee is one of the main keys to success for an effective wellness program. In many cases, a wellness champion or committee can make or break a program’s success. A committee can be used to create shared ownership between employees and management, gain acceptance throughout the organization, and help develop and drive the activities. Sometimes there may not be the desire, or capacity for a wellness committee. If this is the case, a single champion will be the major force behind success. In larger organizations there may already be an established health and safety committee that is interested in adding workplace wellness to their responsibilities.

Who makes the best wellness committee members?

Wellness committee members are typically outgoing, enthusiastic, creative, and cheerful people who possess excellent communication and leadership skills. Employees from all levels and departments of the organization should be invited to participate in planning the wellness program. Consider recruiting employees who have skills in planning, communications, networking, and evaluating, along with an interest in learning more about health and wellness. Ideally, committee members have a mandate to carry out the initiative, are highly visible in the organization and are personally interested in workplace health. The number of employees you recruit is dependent on your workplace. Figure out a number that works for your organization and aim for that!

There are different approaches you can take to recruiting members of your wellness committee. Try one method or a few. Try including a volunteer description along with your request so employees know what will be expected of them.

  • Send out a request for volunteers. Leverage your internal communication channels and send out a request for wellness committee volunteers. Include the volunteer description.
  • Strategically recruit members based on individual skill sets or interests.
  • Include the role of wellness committee representative in job descriptions.
  • Request suggestions from supervisors and managers.

For more information on forming a wellness committee, download this committee guide from Eat Smart, Move More.

Setting standing meetings

Once you have formed your committee schedule regular committee meetings. Monthly or bi-monthly meetings should work just fine, but adapt schedules as you see fit for your organization. The first few committee meetings should include brain-storming about what success looks like to the committee and drafting some objectives.

Wellness committees can often get distracted or can struggle to get started as they face challenges related to raising the profile of the program and attracting employee participation. The more structure there is at the start, the more likely it is that your committee will grow and become well established.