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Wellness Champions

Why Employers Care

Because the average size of employers' wellness department is 2.0 FTEs, the majority of National Business Group on Health members (77%) are utilizing a network of voluntary wellness champions as an extension of their wellness staff.1 In general, wellness champions seek to drive employee participation in well-being initiatives, although the specific roles and responsibilities vary across each organization. For example, while nearly all wellness champions (95%) help to communicate corporate-wide well-being initiatives, other responsibilities range from designing or hosting events, to managing corporate programs on the local level, to relaying employee feedback on programs.1 (See Figure 1 below)

Figure 1: Roles and Responsibilities of Champions
(Number of Responses = 40)

What Can Employers Do?

Employers interested in developing or expanding their network of wellness champions should determine the roles and responsibilities they would like champions to fulfill, including the associated time commitment. Additional considerations include the following:

  • Recruitment: Employers can recruit wellness champions in a variety of ways, including by invitation, management selection and posting a job description for the volunteer position or integrating the tasks into an employee's existing job.
  • Budget: Some employers allocate a budget that wellness champions can use to support initiatives at the local level, while others encourage champions to work with their business leaders to carve-out funding for local initiatives.
  • Compensation: Many employers formally recognize champions for making a positive difference in the lives of others. Other employers, particularly those that require wellness champions to design and implement programs, either provide a stipend or include the responsibilities as a part of their job and adjust their pay accordingly.
  • Support: Employers can set wellness champions up for success by providing resources and guidance, such as trainings that outline champion roles and responsibilities, periodic check-ins, toolkits with actionable ideas, and means for champions to network with one another.

References (show references)

1 National Business Group on Health.Wellness Staffing and Administration. December 2014.

Page last updated: September 29, 2015

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