The Wellness Program Is Raising My Blood Pressure

My employer has a Wellness Program. The Wellness Program is designed to be run by a committee of volunteers. I am lucky enough to be the only employee required to participate in the Wellness Committee and be the messenger between upper management and the committee. Can this job get any better?

The Wellness Program was started just over a year ago. This is how it's gone so far...

Employees: Wellness Program? I can't believe they are putting us all on a diet. They can't fire me if I don't lose weight.

Me: The Wellness Program is not a mandatory weight loss program. It is meant to provide resources to help live a healthier life. Why don't you join the Wellness Committee and get a voice at the table?

Employee: Are you kidding? Will there be donuts at the meetings? I'll come if there are donuts.

Me: Maybe you're not meant to be on the Wellness committee.


Upper Management: We'd like to see a walking club started. Have someone on the Wellness Committee coordinate walks at lunch time and lead the group. Give everyone who participates pedometers.

Me: Okay Wellness Committee, our first challenge is to start a walking group. Someone will have to lead it and designate walking routes. Maybe the routes could get longer as people get used to walking more. The company will provide everyone who participates pedometers.

Wellness Committee: Okay, we're not just giving pedometers away. They need to earn the pedometers. Why don't we say you have to complete 10 walks to get a pedometer? Everyone can't leave at lunch time so we'll have to have two designated walking times per day.  People don't want to get sweaty. They will need extra time for lunch so they can change.Who is going to lead this? We need more time to think about this.

6 months and many meetings later....

Me: How is the walking group coming? Have we ordered pedometers?

Wellness Committee: We don't think it's a good idea. People don't have time to walk. Everyone does their own thing for exercise. No one will earn the pedometer because they won't be able to complete 10 walks. We should do something else.

Me: Okay, well management wanted a walking group. What do you want to do? Have you looked at the employee surveys? I need to report back on our progress.

Wellness Committee: We need a budget and more time to plan. What do other people do with their wellness committee? We should do more research. Maybe next year we can do something when we have time to plan and a budget. Employees aren't happy that the company is putting everyone on a diet. Why don't we do a potluck?

Upper Management: Why hasn't the walking group started? What is the Wellness Committee doing?


The Wellness Program is probably the most stressful part of my job. How hard is it to put up a sign-up sheet for a walking club and pass out a few pedometers?

Someone actually started a rumor that anyone who didn't lose weight after the first year would be fired. I don't know what is more ridiculous. The rumor or the people who believed it.

Do you have to deal with a committee like this?

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