HERO is a member-driven coalition of employers, providers, consultants, academic institutions and associations who share a belief that Workplace Health and Well-Being (HWB) is a scientifically sound, evidence-based approach to achieving health improvements for their employees.
Further, through the creation and dissemination of evidence-based HWB research, education and best practices, HERO actively and continually provides leadership critical to advancing the well-being and performance of the nation’s workforce. Much of the good work that HERO does is achieved through the efforts of its volunteer committees. Many of the members of the Think Tank and others in their organizations are involved in committee work. Some members are participating in more than one committee. Three types of HERO committees are active today, HERO Standing Committees, HERO Study Committees, and HERO Ad Hoc Committees.
Attention Student Members! Are you interested in serving as a student representative on a HERO Study Committee? Volunteering to serve is a great way to network with professionals in our field, contribute to HERO research, and share your unique perspective. To learn more, please email Emily Wolfe and include your resume, which Study Committee you’d like to join, and a brief explanation of your interest.
HERO Standing Committees: In co-op fashion, volunteer members provide direction and support to HERO operations via standing committees for Education, Leadership and Research. Our Standing Committees include:
The Education Committee is a group of Think Tank members who have interests and expertise in workplace health and well-being (HWB) education, communication and shared learning. Over the past few years, several factors have converged, which require renewed efforts in the areas of both member and public education. The number of HERO projects and interests has increased significantly, requiring enhanced internal communication with Think Tank Members. At the same time, systems-level changes, including policy efforts that emphasize wellness, increased public awareness of workplace health promotion and corresponding growth in the industry, provide many opportunities for HERO to position itself in an expert role and demonstrate value to employers and the general public. Additionally, new communication technologies have evolved that can facilitate the dissemination of high-level information, enhancing HERO’s already-successful education efforts and extending the shared learning to provide even greater value to both internal and external stakeholders.
The Leadership Committee is comprised of Think Tank members who have special interests and skills in analyzing future workplace health and well-being (HWB) needs and opportunities and suggesting projects that will keep HERO on the cutting edge of the workplace HWB world. This Committee will have a major influence on the future of HERO and the success we will have.
The HERO Research Committee sets the HERO Research Agenda and provides guidance and expertise in making HERO a respected contributor and major player in the creation, publication, and dissemination of unbiased and meaningful workplace health and well-being research and best practices.
HERO Study Committees: Based on member interest surveys, study committees discuss, analyze and research topics to produce reports, presentations and, often, peer reviewed journal articles. With HERO members as authors, they are focused on providing understanding and guidance to employers. Our active Study Committees include:
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, but the pandemic has hit America’s most prohibited populations the hardest. These populations have been exposed to harm and/or harmful circumstances, and require public health responses and public health policy- federal and state legislation, federal and state program administration, and local ordinances- to work in synergy to make a change.
According to the COVID Racial Data Tracker, this pandemic has systematically infected Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and immigrant households. These groups were already facing discrimination and marginalization due to systems that have limited access to educational, economic, and job opportunities, affordable housing, quality healthcare services, and transportation to name a few. These social determinants of health are entwined with structural racism in education, employment, housing, and healthcare. To achieve healthy equity, employers must address systemic barriers employees face such as limited access to resources, inequitable policies and procedures, and non-livable wages. Establishing health equity requires systemic change. As such, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Communities committee is steadfast in addressing not only the employer’s role in advancing health equity and social determinants of health, but also the policies and procedures that are in place within employee workforces that support improved health outcomes.
The Workplace Performance Study Committee seeks to understand the relationship between workforce health strategies and employee and organizational well-being, performance, and productivity. This includes research demonstrating how workforce health and well-being efforts advance strategic business performance objectives as well as individual employee performance. The committee also focuses on understanding the factors and practices that characterize high-performing health and well-being initiatives. To reinforce a shift in focus from “employee health management” and “health promotion” to “health and well-being” we must also underscore the critical importance of mental health and well-being. The Workplace Performance Study Committee will focus on how this construct influences every facet of “traditional well-being” (social, physical, financial, community and purpose).
Significant evidence exists on the impact of employee health and well-being (HWB) on healthcare costs and workforce productivity, and the ability for well-designed initiatives, programs, and culture of health to improve HWB. At the same time, evidence also exists on the organizational value of positive employee experience (EEx) in meeting other HR and business objectives, and this is a growing area of focus for employers. However, HWB and EEx are often “owned” by different functions within an organization, and the bi-directional influences between HWB and EEx aren’t well established. This limits collaboration and integration between the HWB function and broader EEx functions or initiatives. Improving this would help to optimize strategies to improve both HWB and EEx. The EEx Committee is focused on understanding how employers define and measure EEx, while also seeking to advance improved collaboration across organizational functions to positively impact HWB, EEx, and organizational success.
HERO Ad Hoc Committees: Based on current issues and needs, HERO’s ad hoc committees convene and respond accordingly. Our current Ad Hoc Committees include:
Newly formed in 2017, this committee will provide counsel on HERO PR dissemination strategies and external messaging; support the dissemination of HERO research, news and positive well-being stories via social channels; and respond to current issues of the profession.
This committee builds on the consensus work of HERO, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, American Heart Association, Population Health Alliance, and other organizations concerned about equity and effectiveness in employee wellness. You can find the 2015 consensus response white paper and published paper by following the hyperlinks.