Sunday, August 7, 2011

WOWIE Judge Provides Advice for next Year’s Entrants

Winners and non-winners of the 2011 WOWIE Awards contest have been notified and a news release announcing the winners will be sent out in August before the ILSHRM annual meeting.  For companies that didn’t win, what is the take away message, given they spent hours preparing their application, only to fall short.  Fear not employee wellness advocates, because we conducted an interview with one of the WOWIE judges who took the time to provide advice on how to win next year.

Susan Avello
Susan Avello,  Vice-president and partner, Aging Info USA, and one of the WOWIE judges this year, came away impressed with the quality of the entries.

“For the most part, the WOWIE applicants were thinking ahead of the game in regard to their wellness initiatives,” she said.  “They tried to help their employees think proactively about well-being and this was the key to their benefit message.”

 Avello said that winning entries stood out because they went beyond the norm in their effort to create a healthy workplace and compensated their employees on their effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside of work.

“I gave high marks and credit to employers who constantly engaged employees with surveys and continued use of technology such as mobile apps, to not only stay in touch with emloyees but also to allow them to use social media and mobile apps for access to wellness benefits,” Avello said.

 Avello gave this advice to companies who want to improve their application for 2012:

“Consider implementing a company culture, a well-being culture and new ways ot using technology for employee engagement and accessibility to this technology to keep employees involved.”  She further advised companies to focus on the tie between health and wellness and flex scheduling.

“I realize flexible schedules are not an employee benefit, but I would like to see more about how companies can use flex time for their employees and how they can be creative in their approach to help employees with work/life issue that arise.

 -Chis Martin - For the Illinois State Council of SHRM

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