It’s the first time ever I’m discussing a HUGE issue that companies are having that are properly training a Corporate Wellness Manager.
But now… they left?
Practice what you preach is crucial not just for a healthy company but for wellbeing. Wellbeing is not a psychosocial checklist, it’s a genuine intention of management with a clear business agenda to take CARE of employees. The business agenda? You will see clear return on investment once you intrinsically motivate your employees, you will save money on people leaving, disengagement,… and you will save society money by having less people in dis-ease. A very controversial topics as all these statements are based on the fact that: we can prevent up to 80% of all disease. Who wants to be sick? Nobody.
Here are the key 4 reasons that make Wellbeing Project Managers leave after they completed a successful wellbeing project.
Having worked with >25 large companies in Belgium and trained 30 Consultants in 16 countries that each work with their own large customers, we see patterns and a BIG pattern is this one:
Project Managers that we train in the basics of Corporate Wellness (which is Movement, Nutrition, Healthy Relationship building, Social dynamics, Sleep, Purpose,..) in 90% of cases leave the company they started the Corporate Wellness Program in.
Why is that?
We train corporate Wellness Managers the same way we train our CEOS and Corporate Wellness Consultants. They learn the ins and outs of the FINANCIAL return of well-being, the roll-out of long-term programs and processes, they work individually with employees and the company, the do marketing, sales, … they learn ALL areas of wellbeing and become the strongest advocate for a successful long-term numbers-driven Corporate Wellness Program.
When they start implementing this new DREAM way of work and invest all their time in this project and vision, they naturally WANT to be part of this culture, that is still in its initial phases.
To train people IN your organisation with this level of commitment, understanding and change potential, it is important to give them your full trust and support and invest time.
The best project have at least biweekly meetings with the CEO no matter what size the company is, as the impact of wellbeing is visible in 3-6 months.
Employees who are reward and contribution focused will want to be rewarded too for their efforts in bringing in these quick results. We learn them politics, body language at the level op top politicians, which means, as a CEO you need to see them, honour them and be 100% honest with them as they are trained to pick up the slightest emotional-verbal disconnect between words and actions. These are top-athlete skills, and these skills make them the best wellbeing managers and this is why you will see results so quickly. So you need to treat them like they are business athletes too. Human relationships is one of the most energy intensive and challenging jobs as there is no 1-system, every employee is different and for a great wellbeing manager to succeed, he/she needs to develop her brain to understand employees from all walks of life. The only way to understand diversity in values, goals, … is to step into relationship and get triggered yourself. Your wellbeing manager is constantly walking as a top athlete, ready to be in the moment, with an employee, to see and feel them and act intuitively. Many skills are learned and many are learned by doing. Corporate Welness managers feels this, deal with resistance and for this loyalty they expect executive support and authority to make decisions. The key is, they know the business case so well , they understand exactly how to support employees in a way uniquely felt to them, that giving them this trust will boost your company. You don’t ask your finance director to go in every detail for a business case, it is the same with the corporate wellness manager, later director. A key member of your executive team.
When the wellbeing program manager does not feel heard, seen multiple times, because their job in intrinsically feeling and supporting the needs of all employees, they will develop the skillset and rational understanding of an ideal workspace even more, and will, if not supported that way in their own company, by their own leadership, make decisions for their own goodwill.
So we often see this in projects that well-being managers leave after they have a successful project with a clear Return on investment in their company.
How do you prevent them from leaving?
Get involved from day 1 in the program. In Moov-IT corporate wellness programs we always recommend to START in part 1 of our roll-out with the CEO vision. We need to hear your vision. And we create the program WITH you. This is so crucial. Even if you fully trust the wellbeing manager, creating a wellbeing program in your company is one of the most intimate policies you will ever make in your whole career. It is crucial to think it through, test in pilots and realise long term results AND how they make you, your executive team, your teamleads and shareholders feel.
Wellbeing has controversial viewpoints and a very large global agenda of commercial companies having intellectual property over types of dis-ease symptoms. As a company you need to be clear what stakeholders are involved (also governments have contracts with commercial health companies that may direct you how to run your company wellbeing) and they all need to be discussed into a global holistic vision where all parties feel invited and welcome.
As a CEO you need to check in regularly with your wellbeing manager, as he/she will walk through an educational program by doing. They will learn the ins and outs of connection between humans, of cooperation. They will go through their athlete journey of holding space for larger groups of people and will intent to make everyone feel seen and heard and check this off with company policy. Policy is great for 99% of cases. The wellbeing manager will figure out the 1% as these people may not fit policy and create resentment. They’ll become negotiation and diplomacy experts, motivational coaches focused on intrinsic motivation.
From you as a leader, they expect the same. That’s why it is important that you follow each step of the program and implement it yourself so you BOTH are leading the way. The wellbeing manager bottom-up (and also top down) but everyone will look at you as CEO and leader TOP down and if you both mirror each other, that is when culture will not only grow, it will, but it will thrive long term and the wellbeing manager will feel more and more passionate in their work!
So join and create 1-2 hours per day to focus on YOUR own wellbeing. That IS the journey. You may have been leading your company 30 years from serving others, we need to get you into a 50-50 balance too where you focus on YOUR wellbeing (your presence, your heartrate, your mental triggers, your emotions, the expression of your face, your actions, your movement…), step into this journey and explore it with your teams. Step together into the highest possible cooperation that will have your customer satisfaction blow through the roof without needing to set any objectives or control. When your employees FEEL good they will BRING in your customers in their vibes. And you will see relaxed smiles and business athletes smiling at you ‘ we got this’ and you will feel triggered if your role is still necessary (which it is ;-))
How do you get them back?
No worries if they leave. A break-up is often a sign of an emotional overload or a 1-way communication not being heard.
Give them a call. Make time. And figure out what exactly triggered them. This could be:
* The Missing Reward for Success: The wellbeing program was a great success but we are not getting more financial budget next year
* Their Own Work-Life needs not being heard:
- ‘I have helped all employees to work comfortably when and where they want but I still need to drive every day 1h to and from work which is affecting seeing my kids grow up.’
- OR. I’ve always wanted to travel the world and I’m confident I can work remotely but my company does not have this policy and I’m not being heard so I’m just going to travel.
- Always about a fair exchange of time, space, finances,..
* Their Job Dynamics: no growth after success: I’ve done a successful program but I still have all duties of my previous job, I did not get a new title nor a promotion. With these skills I am confident I have because I have proven results, I attracted a new company that does see me and honors me.
* The New Business Athlete pressure: I feel so overwhelmed, pulled in all kinds of directions, everyone is now asking for well-being, teamleads, and directors, … and I’m doing all this as a volunteer, I need a break and I have tried asking my managers for months to get space and promotion, but it’s not helping. I get words but no action. Wellbeing Managers take responsibility and have a first rule to always make sure their own energy is up. If after months of ‘drain’ of not being heard or supported they feel they loose energy (and cannot do their job with energy they expect from themselves), they leave. Sadly.
The above 4: reward for success, own work-life needs, job dynamics, and athlete pressure are the 4 most common reasons, well-being project managers leave after a Corporate Wellness Training Program.
When training someone in a new job in your company: Corporate Wellness, you need to see them as a person starting up a WHOLE new department. Remember your first sales? Your first marketeer? It’s a lot of work that jumps in and they need support.
At Moov-IT we support Corporate Wellness Managers, consultants and CEOS and we see the best results when the new Wellbeing Managers get an external consultant to take some load of the internal project manager. As an external consultant, you are already trained in thinking, educating, and solving new complex solutions ALL THE TIME, which makes the work for the internal manager a lot more comfortable as they assist, participate and learn from the consultant.
A consultant takes off the Athlete’s pressure, but the job dynamics, own work-life, and reward for success still stay. That is where it is important to discuss these 3 topics, as CEO, from week 1 with the (new) wellbeing manager.
You got this!
To learn more about Corporate Wellness for companies.
Have a look at our Company video featuring the key challenges for corporate wellness:
If you have any questions, reach our Global team at email@example.com to get access to your local support consultant.