Taking a Wellness Inventory

Many organizations attempt to execute an operating plan for workplace wellness without the knowledge of what they even have to offer. There is no need to build duplicate programs or commit limited resources to something that already is working well!

Take inventory of your current workplace wellness programs to help educate you and your champions about what is already occurring. Look for programs that are both employer-sponsored and more “grassroots” programs that have developed organically and informally. Consider any policies (i.e. smoke-free campus) or environmental characteristics (i.e. safe/accessible stairways) that promote overall well-being.

Once you have a good understanding of the programs, efforts and resources your workplace already has, reflect on the following questions:

  • What has made these programs successful?
  • What can we learn so we can build on their success?
  • How do we keep momentum going?
  • How will we evaluate improvements?

Spend the time to supplement other programs that support your wellness mission – and focus more on initiatives that go beyond physical wellness. Consider career development programs, financial wellness, support for a community project and simply creating a way to get to know fellow employees in a more social way. Inventories should take place at least once a year.

One of the key AchieveWELL steps to managing a successful initiative is creating a supportive environment. Knowing your inventory and keeping up to date on that inventory is a critical success factor. Use the Wellness Inventory developed by the Wellness Council of Indiana to make certain you are promoting everything that is already occurring at work.

Talk to Congress the Right Way

Don’t worry, my headline might be misleading — this isn’t from the "General, don’t call me ma’am, call me Senator" category of Congressional communication.

Though you too are instructed to be a little full of yourself when communicating with Congress. Grassroots consultant Christopher Kush spoke with Congress.org recently, explaining ways for constituents to effectively communicate with government. He makes some interesting points about relating on an emotional level about your story rather than simply spewing wonky talking points about issues:

In your book, you talk about the importance of telling your story. What do you mean by that?

Sometimes when people are sending a message to Washington, D.C., they assume that they should sound like a lobbyist and get very technical in detail.

At my consulting firm, we try to get people to write like they normally speak. It’s not because we think they couldn’t talk about the technical details, but because it’s a more effective way to get their message across.

Telling your story helps elected officials understand how proposed legislation will play out in the real world with people like you.

It’s also one of the only ways we have of keeping a policy discussion from being mind-numbingly boring.

What if my story isn’t that interesting?

People often get stuck because they feel if they don’t have the perfect story to be a poster child for their issue then their letter won’t be effective.

That’s not true. By sharing their story, they show that the issue is important to them and by extension the people who live in their district.

You do not have to be personally affected in a particularly dramatic way for your story to be interesting to an elected official.

Behind the Numbers: How New Voters Put Obama on Top in Indiana

Here is one giant reason why and how Barack Obama won Indiana — new voters. 13% of voters this year were first time voters participating in their first election. Among this group, Obama beat McCain 67% to 32%. This very lopsided number resulted in Obama beating McCain in Indiana by a total of 125,671 among new voters. Obama won Indiana by just 26,012 votes. His advantage for newly registered voters was enormous.

There were 525,314 total newly registered voters in Indiana this election and 67.8% of those voted. This turnout percentage was higher than the overall turnout percentage of 60.8% (for voting age population, not registered voters). For registered voters, the turnout was 63.4%. Clearly, newly registered voters were more interested and voted in a higher percentage than already registered voters.

What does this prove? Most importantly, it proves that a far superior ground game driven by a superior registration drive can — and will — work, resulting in Indiana voting for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964. Obviously, there were many other reasons why Obama won Indiana, but this is one very significant reason why.

2008 marked the first election in a number of years that any political party or candidate made truly serious efforts to grow the electorate — and these efforts paid off in a big way for the President-elect. Future candidates, from any political party, better spend considerable time and effort on these newly registered voters and make serious efforts to increase the electorate with like-minded voters if they want success in the future. 

This certainly goes for the business community, too!

Note: You can also find our updated Election Report here.