Top 10 Reasons to Attend Thrive Summit

Thrive Summit 2015 kicks off in exactly one month from today. Have you been on the fence about whether or not you ought to attend? Wondering what you’ll really get out of registering for the biggest conference on employee well-being?

If those questions sound familiar, fear not. We’ve pulled together a list of the 10 most compelling reasons to attend Thrive Summit. Give them a read and make sure you register before time runs out!

Top 10 Reasons to Register for Thrive Summit (Right Now!)

  1. It’s worth repeating. Thrive Summit is the biggest conference on employee wellbeing (no joking)! Don’t miss out on three days of education, networking, and inspiration.
  2. The conference kicks off with Monday’s Thrive Workshop to help you relax, recharge, and get ready to learn! Based on Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonderand hosted by Arianna’s sister, Agapi Stassinopoulos, and The Huffington Post Wellness Editor, Dr. Fitzgerald, it’ll leave ready to engage all week long.
  3. Last year’s inaugural Thrive Summit was one day and featured over 15 speakers. We’ve gone above and beyond that this year, with an action-packed agenda that includes three days of 20 sessions from 30 speakers.
  4. No matter your experience or your organization’s industry, there are topics just for you. With three keynotes and two breakout tracks, there’s something for everyone. Just take a look at our agenda. Then register and get ready to be inspired!
  5. Boston may have gotten the short end of this stick this winter with record-breaking snowfall, but don’t worry – the weather’s warming up! Here’s some great ways you can experience all our little city has to offer while you’re visiting.
  6. We’re planning to welcome triple the number of Thrive Summit 2014 attendees this year. That many HR professionals and thought leaders means major networking opportunities for you.
  7. You’ll hear from an impressive line-up of industry experts. They’ll highlight why leading organizations are investing in employee well-being, how healthy cultures help you attract and retain top talent, and offer up actionable tips for creating a great place to work.
  8. This isn’t your father’s wellness conference. In typical Virgin Group fashion, Thrive Summit has several exciting surprises in store. Want to know what they are? We’re not telling! (But believe us, you won’t want to miss out.)
  9. Thrive Summit is a great way for you to earn some continuing education credits. The entire program, save two sessions, is approved by the HR Certification Institute for 13 HR (General) credit hours.
  10. You didn’t think we’d leave the amazing keynotes off this list, did you? Headlining Thrive Summit are Robin Roberts, co-anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America; B.J. Fogg, PhD, behavior change expert, and Stanford University professor; and Ann Rhoades, former EVP of People and current board member for JetBlue Airways.

Don’t wait. Register today for Thrive Summit 2015 and make sure you’re with us for three days of education, networking, and inspiration. We’ll see you there!

Thrive Summit ‘15: Approved for HRIC credits

ThriveLogo_OnWhiteLate last year, we shared with you the exciting announcement that registration was officially open for Thrive Summit 2015. Since then, we’ve been amping up for the big event, April 27-29 right here in Boston.

Thrive Summit launched last year with a modest ambition in mind: become the biggest conference on employee well-being. Our inaugural conference was well on its way – featuring 15 speakers, and welcoming over 120 industry professionals. This year, we’ve hit our goal and can’t wait to top our 2014 efforts by welcoming 30 speakers and nearly 500 attendees.

In addition to the action-packed agenda, we’ve got three keynote speakers who’ll take the stage. Don’t miss out on the inspirational sessions from Robin Roberts, co-anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America; B.J. Fogg, PhD, behavior change expert, and Stanford University professor; and Ann Rhoades, former EVP of People and current board member for JetBlue Airways!

If that’s not reason enough for you to attend, maybe this is: Thrive Summit 2015 is approved for continuing education credits by the HR Certification Institute. Save two sessions, the entire program is approved for 13 HR (General) credit hours.

Ready to register? You’re in luck – we’re offering a registration flash sale today only. Use code Thrive300 at checkout today for 50 percent off current pricing (that’s the lowest rate we’re offering!) at just $300.

Don’t miss out. Register today and join us for three days of education, networking, and inspiration from our stellar line-up of speakers and keynote sessions.

Kaite Rosa is Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Virgin Pulse, where she leverages her personal passion for health and happiness to create compelling content about employee well-being and engagement. Outside of the office, Kaite spends her time mentoring a high school student, and recently trained for and completed her first half marathon. Follow her on Twitter: @kaiterosa

Turning Madness into Teambuilding

This week begins what many sports fans claim is the greatest event of the year. The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament –March Madness – begins today, with 68 collegiate teams competing for the title of “national champion.” Millions of people around the country watch or track the tournament, whether a casual person filling out a bracket sheet, to an alumnus from a large university who has his school’s banners draping his workspace.

Resistance is futile
You’re probably aware of how popular this tournament is, and might be equally aware of studies showing productivity drains during it. As an employer, your first plan of action may be to block certain websites or disable conference room TVs to ensure employees remain dedicated to their daily tasks. However, with websites and smartphones delivering real-time information, it’s virtually impossible to totally block this “distraction.” If employees really want to check scores or watch a game, they’ll find a way.

In other words – the madness lives on.

Turning the distractions into productivity
This isn’t a call for you to shut down operations to accommodate a sporting event. Instead, view the supposed loss of productivity as a teambuilding opportunity.

In many workplaces, employees form internal teams to support a school. They can pick one at random and pull together a group to support it. Or, if your organization has multiple locations, groups can align with nearby schools. You can help by getting groups together and forming teams, or you can find a handful of employees interested in spearheading the effort themselves.

Once groups are together, consider a challenge that pits them against each other for most team spirit. Participating employees can bond through activities like learning their school’s fight song, dressing in that school’s colors on game day, or researching trivia about that school (e.g., “Did you know that the University of Oregon was where the movie Animal House was filmed?”). This helps teams show their unified support for their school when games are televised.

You can consider rewarding internal groups based on their level of team spirit. Rewards can be no-cost – like preferred parking, priority seating in the cafeteria, or even choosing the brand of coffee or tea in the kitchen. Or you can consider low-cost rewards, like a restaurant gift card or the ability to leave work an hour early one Friday.

A game itself lasts about two hours, so the perfect time for teams to gather would be the second half of a game. This is essentially a lunch break, so there’s no significant productivity drain. Teams can gather wherever the TV is – whether that’s in a conference room, break room, or a corner of the warehouse –to support their school. The friendly banter and trash-talking will further strengthen the teambuilding, long after the actual basketball game is over.

Benefits of embracing the madness
You can easily turn the potential distraction of March Madness into a way to fosterteamwork and community in the workplace. By bringing together employees from different departments or business units, they’ll feel more connected to the organization as a whole. It’ll also help employees form productive working relationships that they might not develop otherwise.

Most importantly, March Madness can help increase employee morale and camaraderie among employees who wouldn’t normally interact. It can also help maintain ongoing engagement. Because this tournament happens every year, long-standing employees can choose to support the same school and help renew team spirit year after year.

In the end, there’s no need to worry that last two weeks in March will be unproductive at your workplace. Instead, look at March Madness as a way to bring employees together and increase morale, teamwork, and connections.

Let us know of ways you embrace the madness in your workplace through Twitter or Facebook, and learn more about the connection between company culture and employee engagement on our blog.

Chris LaFountain joined Virgin Pulse this year because he knows first-hand the pitfalls of failing to have a work-life balance. As Proposal Manager, he supports sales teams’ efforts to help companies create healthy cultures that improve employees’ energy, focus, and drive. He still revels in correctly predicting UMass defeating then-mighty Georgetown in the 1996 regional semifinals. Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisLaFountain

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Virgin Pulse clients and members discuss how we change lives for good!

Virgin Pulse clients and members discuss how we change lives for good!