San Antonio RiverWalkMajor changes are afoot in national health care policy and, as our recent HERO Think Tank in San Antonio attested, employer-led health and well-being is also in a transformative era. Happily, the “voice of the employee” we deliberated about is being met with much more enthusiasm and consensus than the ACA replacement bills. So these HERO briefs feature our Think Tank Proceedings and, fittingly, come to you on the Ides of March. As Thornton Wilder depicted in his novel of the same name, this date marked a time of great upheaval in 44 BC. Wilder wrote fluently about the personalities that led to the rise of the Roman Empire and his book was described as a “text so rich that it requires exploration rather than reading.”

I won’t promise our Proceedings reach this literary height but I can say those in attendance at Think Tank were earnest explorers who, to a person, are contributing to the wondrous rise of our profession. These Proceedings offer background on the personalities who started our conversations, Webinar links to the Panels and presentation PowerPoints. Those who missed our time in Texas can get a taste of the richness of the event and those who came should read on to fortify their explorations.

The Ides of March are also a historical reference to the lunar origins of the Roman calendar. Where the Ides at that time were referring to a full moon, tonight you’ll see a waxing gibbous moon. As always, these briefs bring you readings to keep you current and reminders of HERO events and other learning events ahead for your calendar. Our profession is enjoying a waxing time of visibility and productivity indeed. To be the change you want to see in the world, keep connecting, contributing and learning and read on.


Webinar: Why Doing Good is Good for Employee Health

Tuesday, April 4, at 12:00 PM CST

What is the most powerful well-being intervention known to mankind? If, as our speakers for this webinar propose, it is 100 hours per year of volunteer work, how should this finding be applied to the work of health promotion? How integrated are your corporate volunteerism policies and programs with your health and well-being initiatives? Many offer incentives for being fit, should we do the same for being happy and good to others? Is there a business case for practicing loving-kindness?

Join Dr. Stephen Post and Points of Light Institute’s CEO Tracy Hoover as we explore whether those who give of their time and talent receive more well-being in return than available via any other intervention. Your webinar hosts, Drs. Sara Johnson and Paul Terry will cheerfully volunteer their time to affirm your questions and show gratitude for your comments. Register here.

HERO Summer Research Think Tank Meeting (members only event)

June 6-7, 2017 – Bloomington, MN

We will be exploring “Systemic Approaches to Advancing Mental and Emotional Well-being.”

June 6th Mental Well-being Think Tank is open to all HERO members. Register Here.
June 7th is for HERO member researchers and guests who are focused on advancing a research agenda for HERO and the health promotion field.

HealthFitness University Summit

April 4 – 5, Emory University

HERO’s Jessica Grossmeier will join HealthFitness where she will share new data on colleges and universities that align with HERO Scorecard results. Other presentations will cover insights and best practices as well as a guided tour of Emory’s Blomeyer Health Fitness Center and overview of their program. Register here.

HEROForum17 – “Engagement and the Emerging Workforce.”

September 12-14, 2017 – Phoenix, AZ

In keeping with HERO’s reputation as host of a learning experience that is practical and thought-provoking as well as agenda-setting for our field, we will be offering an eclectic number of conference tracks with learning objectives that advance our theme and address other timely issues in health and well-being: diversity and workforce engagement; measures that matter; skills, motivation, autonomy; sustainability; and well-being. And, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more beautiful setting for connecting with others who share your passion for improving health. Registration opens Mach 31.

Harvard School of Public Health’s SHINE Summit

Harvard School of Public Health’s SHINE Summit is a corporate sustainability, health and social innovation event for business leaders.

Creating a Positive Future is this year’s summit theme: exploring innovative ways for companies to improve, measure and report on social well-being and environmental health throughout the organization, community and supply chain.

Registration is now open for this year’s summit, June 13-14, followed June 15-16 by a Forum on Worker Well-being in Supply Chains. Both events will take place on the Harvard campus in Cambridge.

Building a More Resilient Workforce Training

Thursday, March 16, at 1:00 PM EDT

The Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute (J&J HPI) invites you to discover a new training approach to building resiliency in the workplace.
Join Jim Loehr, Co-Founder of the J&J HPI and other experts for a complimentary webinar where they will discuss why resilience is more important than ever. Register today.


The Voice of the Customer

Proceedings (1 of 3) from HERO’s 2017 Winter Think Tank on The Employee Experience.

On February 23-24, HERO members gathered in San Antonio, Texas for our Winter Think Tank on the topic of “The Employee Experience.” While many industries are well known for their deep reliance on the voice of their consumers, employee health and well-being initiatives have arguably been oriented toward a business case responsive to the needs of the employer. Does the movement “from wellness to well-being” signal a shift away from costly employee risks to the organizational value added if we better tap employee assets, needs, and diversity? To address these questions and serve as conversation starters for our Think Tank members, our subject matter experts introduced key concepts and approaches to measuring and applying “voice of the customer” to organizational change and ongoing product and process improvements. To learn how they encouraged us to think about how we would leverage the voice of the employee as our “customer” for health and well-being initiatives, Read On.

Reaching the Hardest to Reach

Proceedings (2 of 3) from HERO’s 2017 Winter Think Tank on The Employee Experience.

We opened this session of our Think Tank discussions on the ‘hardest to reach’ with what we anticipated would be a slow pitch question: “The voice of the employee is well represented by wellness committees: Yes, no, or it depends?” Surely “it depends” would have been the easy way to warm up to this think tank topic so it was striking that the clear majority of our Think Tank members swung hard at the pitch with a resounding “no.” Too often our wellness committees attract wellness enthusiasts and too seldom are the voices of the disaffected on deck when employee engagement ideas are supposed to be batted around. As much as our panel of experts felt many of the values and preferences that influence the employee experience are universal, such as supervisory support and meaningful work, they were equally persuasive about the need to tailor the employee experience at the individual level. The oft cited ‘unique needs’ of millennials proved an interesting case in point. To learn why assuming one-size-fits-all in any demographic category is dicey, Read on.

Next Practices for Improving the Employee Experience

Proceedings (3 of 3) from HERO’s 2017 Winter Think Tank on The Employee Experience.

Seeking to learn from the experts on how to create an extraordinary customer experience, the Cummins’ company turned to experts at Ritz-Carlton to share how other industry sectors approach this. What resulted was a change in how Cummins staffed and trained their onsite clinic staff; the way the facility looked, smelled, and sounded; the processes implemented to drive convenience and customer service; a comprehensive array of services and offerings in one convenient place; and even the expected outcomes they strive to achieve. Imagine telling a physician that their goal is to help people to stop taking medicine! Our panel of experts responded to questions about how their employees’ input has influenced the experience they have as an employee and lessons learned when using “voice of the employee” data. To learn whether asking employees for their input was more an opening of Pandora’s box versus a fount of wisdom, Read on.

The New Health Care Bill and Shared Decision Making: Managed Care Magazine Blog by Paul Terry

HERO recently hosted our Think Tank member’s symposium to deliberate on “the voice of the employee.” Borrowing on the persuasive science behind the shared medical decision making movement, we asked whether employee health promotion programs are shifting from a business case focused on health care cost containment to an employee well-being case more oriented toward the employee experience. Where wellness programs have arguably been paternalistic, trying to engage employees in better self-care, what would it look like if wellness were much more employee-centered? We had medical directors, health promotion experts, consumer marketing experts and researchers all debating the merits and foibles of employee-centered wellness program design. Too often, we specialists talk only to each other as we sort through issues, so I reached into another sector and invited a school district’s chief academic officer, who has long been ensconced in “school choice” issues. What do teachers, police officers, counselors, coaches, tax accountants and manufacturing supervisors share in common? Popularity, or the satisfaction of their ‘customers’, isn’t the penultimate differentiator. Outcomes are. Read on

Success of Health and Well-being Programs Dependent on Strategic Planning

From higher participation rates to better health outcomes and improved health care cost containment, there is a direct connection between formal strategic plans and the reported success of health and well-being program. Read on for details.

Healthy People 2030

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives met in early March where they began the process of defining new Healthy People 2030 Objectives for the nation. HERO Board Member Nico Pronk is the Committee Co-Chair. Learn more about what was discussed at this kick-off meeting.

Prevention Policy and the Trump Administration

While policies and programs may have differed across Democrat and Republican administrations, there has been a recognition by both parties that promoting wellness is an important policy objective. Will President Trump continue the bipartisan pursuit of prevention? Learn how the Trump Administration could advance Federal Prevention Policy.

Jen Arnold, from “Redesigning Wellness” Interviews Jessica Grossmeier, HERO’s Vice President of Research

Advancing Health & Well-being through Employer Leadership with Jessica Grossmeier
by Jen Arnold, MS, RD/LDN | Mar 7, 2017 | Podcast |

From Jen Arnold: In this conversation, Jessica and I talk about what drew her into research, the evolution of the wellness field, and a bit more about HERO. With all the talk about throwing ROI out of the wellness conversation, Jessica makes some great points about it and what to consider when measuring ROI successfully. We talk VOI and something she said really stands out to me – identify your stakeholders and identify what they care about, what they want to see as a result of your wellness efforts. Jessica also tells us what half of the companies who fill out the HERO scorecard are missing (and her advice for fixing it).


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