The Stars Among Us: Congrats to our “Star of the Year” Kate Colp!

Kate & RichardWhat’s Sir Richard Branson’s favorite night of the year? Celebrating all the hard-working Virgin Group employees worldwide who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Every year, employees at each of the Virgin Group companies nominate fellow Virgin team members who they consider their “Star of the Year”— then one or two from each company are selected as their companies’ Star and they get to spend a night partying the Virgin way with Richard, the Virgin team, and the other Stars around the world.

We’re excited to share Virgin Pulse’s Star of the Year is Kate Colp, Director of Client Services!

“Kate is an amazing colleague who takes great pride in everything she does. She works hard to put the customer first while embodying the values and brand behind Virgin. I have been both motivated and inspired by her ability to address difficult situations and overcome hurdles that we’re faced with each day,” said one of Kate’s colleagues at Virgin Pulse.

Kate, who’d also previously been nominated for this award, said she was truly honored and it meant a lot that she was selected knowing how many other great and hard-working employees there are at Virgin Pulse. “It’s full of inspiring people and I am appreciative every day of those I get to work with,” she said after receiving the honor.

Stars EntertainmentAfter being named Virgin Pulse’s Star of the Year for 2014, Kate and her husband went to the U.K. for five days and celebrated with other Stars at a rooftop gala dinner overlooking Kensington Gardens. With celebratory champagne, delicious food and a theme like “Putting on the Ritz,” Kate said it was the best party she’s ever been to.

“It was very Virgin. And the incredible thing is, the culture at the event—even with people from all over world—felt like the culture here at Virgin Pulse,” she said.  “Everyone I spoke to was positive, friendly, hardworking…it was amazing to see how the Virgin brand really is like one big family.”

Here’s to you Kate—you’re tireless work providing exceptional dedication to our clients inspires your whole department.

Want to see the celebration in action? Check out this video to get the full experience.

3 Tips to Help Your Employees Stay Healthy This Fall

JoggingAs summer ends and fall gets going, it’s often hard for people to switch gears. Staying active when the days keep getting shorter and colder is something we all struggle with. But it doesn’t have to be so daunting. Here are three tips you can use today to keep your employees motivated to stay active and healthy this fall so they’re able to perform at their peak all season long.

1)   Encourage everyone to keep healthy

We all know fall can sometimes mean “cold season.” It’s a lot easier for employees to do their best work if they’re feeling their best and not battling a bug. Consider using your well-being program to incentivize employees to get enough sleep (40% of U.S. adults don’t get enough!), go to their annual check-up, get a flu shot (if it’s recommended for them), and make sure they’re getting enough vitamins and minerals. These are all great ways employees can keep themselves healthy and be better able to focus on the pressing projects ahead. Oh, and don’t forget to keep hand sanitizer stations around wherever possible!

2)   Serve up healthy snacks

applesColder days can make everyone eye the hot chocolate and apple cider donuts—delicious, yes, but they don’t do anything good for employees’ health and productivity. Getting daily fruit doses, on the other hand, boosts the immune system and staves off illnesses. But unfortunately, most adults don’t get enough fruit each day – only 33% do, according to the CDC. Try ditching the office candy bowl and swapping out other unhealthy snacks for hot tea and fresh fruit instead.

3)   Make Getting Moving Fun!

Fall can also be a good time to talk with your employees about the importance of getting back into daily health routines. With work schedules becoming normal again after vacation season, planning an activity challenge can be a great way to motivate employees and get them to reconnect after the summer months. Remember, even if your workforce is in different areas, just knowing everyone is doing the same activity builds a stronger sense of culture and community.

Kick off the new season with these three tips and motivate your employees to maintain healthy habits all year round. Want more ideas on how to keep your employees healthy and engaged? Download this tip sheet, “10 tips to boost employee engagement.”

Traditional Wellness Doesn’t Work (But Here’s What You Can Do)

icon-callouts-1 (7)Over the past few years, corporate wellness programs have come under their fair share of fire. Add to the list a recent headline featured in Inc., “Why Wellness Programs are Very, Very Sick,” which attempts to dispel wellness programs and position them as intrusive and ineffective. (Spoiler alert: eventually, the author admits that wellness is still a relatively new discipline and isn’t something employers should write off.)

Here’s the thing – we’ve got to agree. Our CEO Chris Boyce has said it before, and we’ll echo it for him again. Traditional wellness – Wellness 1.0 – doesn’t work.

It’s the outdated Wellness 1.0 strategies that have the unfortunate spotlight in Inc.’s piece, and we firmly believe that this narrow approach to employee health simply doesn’t go far enough to be effective. For starters, Wellness 1.0 typically focuses on the sick or at-risk employees, using tactics like HRAs and biometrics to get data but offering up little support to employees about what that information means or how they can change their behaviors.

Some newer programs go a stepfurther, by honing in on one or two areas of health, but it’s still not enough. Because, let’s be honest, health isn’t just physical. If employees are stressed out, struggling to keep their head above water, worrying about bills or missing out on quality time with family and friends, they’re not going to feel their best, and they sure aren’t going to make healthy habits – like getting enough exercise, eating right, and sleeping well – a priority.

Ever slept terribly one night, then ate poorly and skipped your workout the next day? Then you don’t need us to tell you that maintaining healthy habits has a direct impact on nearly every aspect of life. It’s widely reported that physical activity reduces stress, anxiety, and depression – and increases resilience and happiness, optimism, and overall quality of life. These same benefits surface when we eat healthily. And experts agree that getting enough sleep lowers risk of disease, obesity, illness, accident and death, all while improving brain function, cognition, reaction time, productivity, capability, decision making, mood states, happiness, and job and life satisfaction.

workforce-2Health is more than just physical and to really feel great, employees need to feel like they’ve got a grip on all aspects of life. Their mental and social well-being are part of the picture just as much as their physical well-being.

Here’s the good news. You can bridge the gap from “wellness” to “well-being” and get so much more from program investments. Shift from that one-dimensional definition of wellness to a holistic approach that offers tools and resources to support all aspects of employees’ well-being and you’ll not only help employees feel great across all areas of their life, you’ll drive broad business benefits in the process. They’ll feel more energetic, focused and motivated and you’ll drive engagement, productivity, focus and more.

Learn more about why now’s the time to shift from outdated Wellness 1.0 to a holistic, Wellness 2.0 approach to employee well-being. Download the eBook, “Progressing Past Wellness 1.0 – How Wellness 2.0 Creates Engaged Workforces and Better Businesses” today.

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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!