Workplace Wellness Takes Sail #HRCruise2018

Editor’s Note:  One of our regular contributors, Donna Rogers, recently participated as an attendee and speaker on the 2018 HR Conference Cruise.  What’s an HR Cruise you may ask?  According to the website, it combines “a robust Human Resource conference with an exciting cruise to tropical islands and gorgeous getaways….It is everything that a land-based conference offers – except that it moves!”  The inaugural cruise set sail in January 2017 and based on popularity and demand returned with two sailings in February 2018.  Donna wanted to share some of her observations and takeaways with the Women of HR readers; below is the first of her two posts.


It’s showtime at sea for attendees of the 2nd annual #HRCruise heading to Haiti and Jamaica.  After a great opening session by Greg Hawks, the first session of the week began with Brad and Suzanna Cooper with US Corporate Wellness.  They walked attendees through a well thought out, detailed and thoughtful presentation about what corporate wellness should look like.  In my experience wellness programs have been very narrowed.  For example, when I first started my career, there was a $100 prize for the employee who lost the greatest percentage of weight.  I was only 23 at the time without a great deal of other influences buying for my time.  It was a cinch.  I won! I went out and bought a brand new suit to wear to work with my winnings.  I was excited, proud and focused.  I had willpower.

However, the wellness program was only focused on one thing, weight loss. A strategically planned program will consider so much more like smoking, stress, spirit, mental, physical, exercise, sleep, and so much more.  Sleep today is a huge thing for me.  The light bulb when off when I heard Brad say that without a good nights sleep, I have over a 40% chance of eating junk food in the afternoon.  He was right, I know what I need to eat or drink.  I am a Weight Watcher (recently rejoined) for gods sake.  I know I don’t get good sleep and knowing this helps me understand at least one reason why I am constantly sabotaging my success towards my weight loss goal.
There are so many other great takeaways from this great speaking duo and as I write this blog post, Brad asked everyone, starting with me, to speak out about their one takeaway.  So I typed them up for your to review here.
Takeaways from the attendees:
  • Increase communication of wellness initiative as an ongoing process
  • Tailor your message to your audience – such as generation; ally different employees
  • Creating lasting and meaning full change in wellness – not a one time shot like my personal example above
  • Try-in, Buy-in ~ Let employees try something to help
  • Focus on the individual – one size does not fit all
  • Tracking what I want to be a year from now and track progress towards that goal
  • Scarlett Letter – you don’t have to be perfect on your wellness journal
  • Corporate Social Responsibility tie into wellness
  • Even if you’re good about exercise in the morning but sit a lot at work, doesn’t give you a free pass
  • Never use any phone sitting down – get up and move
  • Being intentional
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs – Top is now Social Media
  • You are all so sexy, I want to be you!
  • It’s just not fitness and food…it’s about so much more like Financial Wellness
  • Create ways to have impact without intrusion
  • Mini SWOT analysis of individual company specific wellness programs
  • Wellness Wheel
  • Traveling trophy in the office when teams win challenges
  • Utilization Review of programs
  • Wellness coaching & EAPs


It’s showtime! What are you going to do to improve your overall wellness program?


About the Author

Donna Rogers, SPHR

Donna Rogers is an instructor of management at UIS and owner of Rogers HR Consulting. She has a Masters in Human Resources Development from UIUC, a Bachelor’s in Public Relations from ISU and two associates’ degrees. She has maintained a senior HR certification since 2001. She regularly delivers numerous presentations among professional at meetings, seminars, and conferences nationwide. She humbly volunteers as the UIS SHRM Student Chapter Co-Advisor and is a former SHRM MAC Representative and ILSHRM Past Director. She is on Twitter as @HRWarrior



I am so sorry for your lost I didn”t know Brad but I know his brother Brett and his family. May God bless you at this time and bring peace and comfort to you. Rest In Peace Brad and I know Brad will watch over all of you and remain you He is right there with Heaven Father watching and protecting you


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *