2016 HERO Think Tank Meeting: The Future of Work.

Over the past twenty years our profession has proven the case that changes in health are associated with changes in productivity. But what of the current rapid changes in work, the workplace and the workforce? How will that affect health? The dramatic and large influx of millennials is occurring while 70 million baby boomers are readying to retire. Other shifts in race, ethnicity and gender mean that the needs of employees are also changing. Millennials look for flexibility, work-life balance and increased recognition; needs that haven’t been as prevalent in other generations. Employers will navigate virtual workplaces, unfettered social media, sustainable practices, acceleration of information and the democratization of knowledge power. How will we design the future of the work experience to increase employee engagement and flow while boosting company performance?

We’ll be exploring nothing less than how to advance health in anticipation of the future of work so join us at the HERO Think Tank Roundtable on February 23-24, 2016 in San Diego. This is a members’ only event.

Atlanta2016 HERO Forum Call for Presenters (Open to all professionals, not just HERO members)

Paying it forward advances well-being and the health benefits of giving works in both your personal and professional life. The call for presenters for the 2016 HERO Forum on Leading in Well-Being: Workplaces Influencing the Health of Employees, Families and Communities is now open. You can view instructions and submit your proposal here. There is no better way to improve the health of our profession as well as add years to your life. Come to Atlanta to share your knowledge. Stay a while and relish a Georgia Peach!

A New HERO Study Links Stock Performance to Worksite Wellness Programs

Given the buzz these studies are already getting this month, a unique compilation of three articles will surely be on every wellness professionals “best studies list” by the end of 2016. Congratulations to Dr. Jessica Grossmeier, our V.P. of Research, who, along with several other HERO member leaders, published impressive results in the January issue of JOEM that demonstrated a strong correlation between health and well-being programs and superior stock performance. Companies who “scored highly on the HERO Scorecard for Employee Health and Well-Being Best Practices in Collaboration with Mercer©…outperformed the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index over the course of six years.” You can read several of the Trade Journal stories on the studies from the IHCC, APA, and Safety Culture.

You can also read about the study from the other contributing organizations and authors: Mercer, Dr. Steven Noeldner of Mercer, Dr. Ron Goetzel of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. David Anderson of StayWell, and Ray Fabius of HealthNext.


Japan groupCan Japan Leapfrog America in Employee Well-Being?

The timing could not be coincidental that just as America is codifying company financial fortunes associated with wellness, that a delegation from Tokyo University and Mitsubishi came to learn about our HERO Scorecard and how employee health and well-being is trending in corporate America. They opened their presentation to us by describing the interest in wellness emanating from their Tokyo Stock Exchange. What does this have to do with the HERO Scorecard? Japanese businesses prize data, so our visit with them started and ended with sharing metrics about Scorecard-abetted health and well-being in corporate America. Such metrics could serve as a basis for a company health and well-being accreditation system in Japan that lets stock pickers and future workers alike separate what are called “white companies” from “black companies.” Read the full article here.

The Well-Being Issue: Notes from The American Journal of Health Promotion

In the January/February issue of The American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP) I was pleased to feature HERO member Oklahoma State and Suzy Harrington. The article examines the movement from wellness to well-being and OSU’s mission to be “America’s Healthiest Campus®” What’s more, Dr. Siyan Baxter provides recommendations on measurements needed to move toward well-being and I close with a commentary on what it would take to arrive at a consensus definition of well-being.

Forthcoming Webinars

GroppelRegister for webinar with Dr. Jack Groppel of Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute
Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CST



Join us February 4th for a Webinar on the Movement from Wellness to Well-Being. The Art of Health Promotion

The Journal’s webinars are open access so don’t miss my discussion on advancing well-being with Drs. Siyan Baxter and Suzy Harrington on February 4th at 1:00 p.m. CST. Read more about the webinar and register to join here.

Some More worthy Well-Being Reads

An Incentive Scheme is not a Wellness Program

A recent study published in Health Affairs affirms my long held assumption that financial incentives alone don’t provide, as the ACA defines a wellness program, something that has a “reasonable chance of improving health.” I was not surprised to see that there were no significant differences in this weight loss study comparing a lottery incentive to two more typical approaches to premium adjustments for weight loss outcomes. What did surprise me was that the article was silent on whether there were wellness program interventions available to support participants. I’d assume so. Indeed, I’ve also long held that there is no such thing as an “outcomes based incentive” given how clear the ACA rules are that those who do not meet a health contingent standard need to be offered participation based alternatives.  You can read the article abstract and access the full article here.

KletkeCulture of Health Progression at Stryker Instruments

The Health Affairs article above underscores the point that incentives are but a tactic that relies mightily on the cultural and communications context in which the incentive resides. A wonderful example of a well-being initiative that balances programs, policies and culture was presented during our new HERO Wednesday Webinar series. I so enjoyed discussing ideas and outcomes with Ashley Brinn Kletke of Stryker Instruments. HERO members can view the full webinar recording here. All are welcome to read about the webinar on the HERO blog.


BallardPsychology in the Workplace and its Role in Wellness Programs

HERO held a second Wednesday Webinar with Dr. David Ballard of the American Psychological Association in early January. Dr. Ballard discussed how employee perceptions of leadership support for wellness programs can strongly influence participation and engagement. HERO members can view the full recording here or all can read about the webinar on the HERO blog.

HWHC YouTube Channel

Recently, HERO, in partnership with HWHC, conducted a number of interviews on an initiative called All’s Well Waconia. It is based in Waconia, Minnesota and is focused on improving the health and well-being of the community through the hospital, the school system and nutrition. You can view videos of the interviews on the HWHC YouTube channel.

New Members

We’re thrilled to welcome new members to the HERO Think Tank. Employers play a unique and crucial role in improving individual and population-wide health. We applaud employers like Active Healthcare, Humana Wellness, Mission Health System, OnSite Wellness LLC, Optisom, Prevention Partners, Stryker, Washington University in St. Louis and Zipongo who recognize the connection and commit the time and resources to creating a healthy workplace culture.  Please take the time to check out all our new members.

Deconstructing Organizational Support

HERO Member Tatiana Shnaiden, M.D., Chief Analytics Officer at HealthFitness recently joined our Dr. Grossmeier in a telling analysis of the gap between health policies and programs in wellness. The HERO Health and Well-Being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer© (HERO Scorecard) asks about a range of best practices in organizational support for health, from leadership involvement and methods of communicating the company’s health values to specific tactics such as company policies and the physical environment features. Most companies (86%) have a strong foundation in providing a safe physical environment, but the latest HERO Scorecard data reveal several opportunities for companies to improve organizational support for health through health-promoting policies and changes to the physical environment. Read on!

L.L. Bean Overcoming Obstacles to Wellness

HERO member L.L. Bean is featured in a recent blog by Johns Hopkins University and HERO Board member Dr. Ron Goetzel. The post describes the Healthy Bean Initiative and how health risk assessments and biometric tests can identify where employees are most at risk for health problems. As importantly, the story explains how the intentional integration of programs and policies can make wellness a strategic part of company success. You can read the post here.



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