I currently work for STRATTEC Security Corporation, which is an automotive parts manufacturer, as the Operations Human Resources Generalist and Wellness Program Administrator. I have been at STRATTEC for 13 years; while our company is over 3,000 employees, I work with our U.S. based employees totaling around 500 employees.
I earned my Associate's Degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix (2009), along with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration/General Management and Human Resource Management from Marian University in August of 2012. I hold certifications through the Chapman Institute as a Certified Wellness Program Coordinator (CWPC) and Certified Wellness Program Manager (CWPM). In addition, in 2013, I invested in becoming a certified Wellness Coach through the Coach Catalyst Institute. I am a WELCOA Faculty member that belongs to various wellness networking groups, who holds an intermediary license for the State of WI. Awards have been received for: WELCOA-Gold-2014; UnitedHealthcare Well Deserved Award, 2011; 12&13 HM and Healthiest Employer Award 2011-2014. I personally received the Wellness Council of Wisconsin Light of Wellness Award in 2012 for Leadership.
Our organization has driven programs for physical activity, nutrition, weight management, financial management, smoking cessation, mental health, and stress management.
In my opinion, one of our most successful campaigns was the Stress Campaign we ran called “Stop Stress this Minute." One of our Wellness Ambassadors recommended the book “Stop Stress this Minute” from WELCOA to design a program for our associates based on their needs from a survey. This was the first attempt STRATTEC made at stress reduction in a program form. People were always squeamish about this topic, especially in a manufacturing setting.
We had a kick off meeting and a series of 4 lunch and learn sessions where participants learned skills they could use to manage or eliminate their stressors. Our post-program survey results showed us that participants are continuing their health behaviors (mediation, breathing, visualizing, exercising, etc.) as a result of the program. Associates even reported that they plan ahead, practice relaxation techniques, and have gotten off caffeine since the program ended. We do not yet have our most recent HRA results to see the results of the stress questions, but we feel it was an overall success. We see people focusing on taking their breaks instead of working through their lunches, they break for walks or to stretch, and understand that everyone may have underlying stressors and they can help.
I take my role as a Wellness leader seriously. I believe that one must walk the talk in order to inspire others. Since I began working in Wellness, I have shown people what may seem like the impossible is achievable. I lost a significant amount of weight, have been taken off all medications for diabetes and high blood pressure, and act as a role model and coach for my co-workers, family and friends. I remind people, even through my own trials, even though we may falter at times, we can recover. I do this one on one for people, and have also shared my story publicly.
I hold memberships with WELCOA and the National Wellness Institute and have a strong network of Wellness Resources and Partners. In order to be successful in this industry, keep yourself educated in Wellness topics, build a strong network, and always remember, you MUST care about the people you are trying to help!
The one thing I focus on that I believe is different, is having Wellness Ambassadors on the team who are truly passionate about not only their own wellness, but that of others. It has drawn more engagement from our population in wellness activities. Also, as a part of engaging people, our members will go out and individually speak to people one on one to engage them. That personal touch counts, and makes people feel included. Programming also includes more onsite team activity which creates camaraderie as people try things they never would have before.
As I look forward to the future, I think that Healthcare Reform may affect how employers do wellness. If they send people to the exchanges, I fear they may not focus on the wellness of their employees; they may miss the other benefits besides the health care costs. Additionally, with the legal issues that continue to arise, companies may be deterred from wellness programs.
I think there could be a lot of opportunity to develop very strong wellness programs in the future. Our population is in need of serious attention. From diabetes to inactivity, health can be improved, and people can live happier and healthier lives. I believe that QUALITY of life is so important; when the quality is good, people are happier, more productive, and able to help others achieve better quality of life as well!