"Wellness" People Not Required: An Attendee Interview

At our last Wellness Underground workshop we did something on the last day that we had not done before. We pooled together all of our talents, skills, experience and inspiration to brainstorm and pull together actionable ideas for one of our attendees. Craig was an attendee who came to us as a physical education teacher that is part of a team that is heading up a wellness initiative for their school district that was funded by a grant. We planned it out so that after two days of "workshopping" and learning, the attendees could put what they learned to work! 

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After a presentation by Craig where he filled everyone in on the school system, what they had done with the grant, etc., the attendees spent the some time in groups creating action plans based on specific challenges that the school district was facing in regards to their wellness initiative. The goal was that Craig could go back to his workplace with some great ideas that were fueled by the best minds in the wellness, well-being and "people" industry.  We chatted with Craig recently to follow up and see where they are now and what he took away from the workshop that he was able to put into place. 

1.      What happened after you left WU full of ideas the attendees provided after you shared your school district's wellness journey and obstacles?

"It was like any conference or retreat, I came back all energized expecting everyone to have the same excitement that I had.  As much as I would like to share that that’s how it was, it wasn’t.  I was able to share what I had learned with the wellness underground team and was super excited about all the great info I had received.  I think some progress was made, but not like I really had hoped.  However, we are making some steps and the dream is still alive."

2.      What have you adopted or adapted as a result of attending?

"Since attending the workshop, some new additions have happened as suggested by the WU crew."

  • We had community gardens started at both an elementary school and the middle school.
  • We shifted our school-wide challenges to more about healthy choices and not really focusing on just physical fitness.
  • We have shifted the focus of a district wide 5k to be not just for our students but also for our employees.
  • We have begun a discussion with our district maintenance and high school to allocate some funds perhaps matching with some bond money to create a staff friendly workout area.  
  • We have at least 1 more year of WELCOA subscriptions for our staff.
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3.      What was your biggest takeaway or aha! moment from the workshop?

"It’s about the people—very simply.  Relationships, feeling like you matter, you’re in the ship together = productivity."

4.      What does your wellness committee plan to do next?

"We are restructuring our wellness team to include others who may have more of a passion and a desire to be there.  We are looking at ways of honoring our people and making them feel important, for example. our community run event this year.  Also partnering with our school behavior plans to make sure all staff feel supported. Continue to offer incentives and challenges for our staff in fun non intimidating ways. To be on purpose in what we do, not just doing things to do it."

5.      Did the ideas from the WU attendees help your wellness committee? If so, how?

"I think it did, perhaps not as much as I had hoped but there are pieces. The biggest is getting away from fitness as the focus of wellness and focusing on the whole person--not everyone responds to fitness stuff.  Like I learned at the WU workshop, it's feeling like you're part of the team, its physical health, emotional health, spiritual, financial, nutritional, communal."       

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6.      What were you most excited to share with your wellness committee after coming back from the workshop?

"I loved sharing it all, the huge poster papers that everyone gave and all the ideas.  However the one that seemed to peak the interest of the group was to plan a communal event.  Now I am not sure it will be anywhere near what the WU group planned for me, but it is steps in the right direction and I don’t think it will cost.  Planning on making this year’s Dragon Run (High School mascot is the Dragons) the biggest event our district has seen." 

7.      Where do you feel you still need help?

"Buy in from our upper ups and more passionate building representatives."

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8.      If you could change anything from your WU experience, what would have been? How could it have been more impactful for you and/or your wellness committee?

"I just wish we could send an administrator- our superintendent would be even better."

9.      Anything else you want to add or say?

"Thank you for all you invested in me.  The WU crew poured their hearts into helping the Dallas Oregon school district and I will be forever grateful.  Who knows what life may bring, perhaps one day I will be able to join you again.  I appreciate what you guys do for people. I hope this year’s event touches and encourages you all.  I know the people in my building for sure will benefit from what I learned from WU. "


Join Us For A People Movement!

Do you have specific challenges in your workplace or organization? Or maybe you have an arsenal of great actionable ideas!? Or do you thrive off of collaborating with other people? If any of those describe you, then A People Movement is for you!  Seats are filling up so ask away if you have any questions or register now! You can save $100 when you pay in full!

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