The Institute For Worksite Wellness

The diverse ecosystem of companies, organizations and individuals that care about wellness in Minnesota are typically eager to devote their energy, expertise and convening power to help employers initiate and sustain worksite policies and programs that make their employees healthier. The Alliance will use the Institute for Worksite Wellness to develop these combined capabilities into an organization that systematically articulates and promotes best practices for wellness in terms that are relevant to employers.

The Institute will be organized around a series of 8-10 forums sponsored by the Alliance at regular intervals throughout 2013, designed to discuss various aspects of worksite wellness in terms that are meaningful to employers. By inviting all members of the growing wellness coalition, we will build and sustain a strategic alliance.1

The substructure behind each event will arguably do as much to build and promote the coalition as the event itself. In essence, the Institute will be a confederation of 8-10 working groups – each chaired by an Alliance member-sponsor with a particular interest in an aspect of worksite wellness – and composed of any partners that bring expertise or other market value to the topic. The goal will be to include hands-on input from at least five “auxiliary” members of the Alliance. Topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Tobacco cessation
  • Physical activity
  • Competitions
  • Coalition building
  • Policy/Regulation
  • Large business
  • Small business
  • ROI
  • Nutrition
  • Drug/Alcohol abuse
  • Know your numbers
  • Technology

Note: These groups will NOT conduct original research, but will aggregate the best examples and principles of existing research and practices, using the networks of partner organizations.

The Institute for Worksite Wellness will provide value across the entire Alliance. The framework of regular meetings will enable us to sustain our coalition relationships. Each event will support our systematic, ongoing communications strategy to stress the value of worksite wellness by showing how specific features of wellness fit into the larger picture. In addition, the Institute for Worksite Wellness product will generate an organic body of relevant knowledge that will comprise a basic toolkit within the BizicallyFIT™ web portal.

Members may choose to host an Institute event, under the following guidelines. We will produce 8-10 events on a first-come, first-served basis. It will work like this.

Connect: You may select any topic, with Alliance approval, that does not duplicate what other sponsors are doing (again, on a first-come, first-served basis). You may convene a working group consisting of no fewer than five other organizations, which the Alliance will help conceive, recruit and organize. These groups can include virtually anyone within the ecosystem of individuals and groups that have a stake in worksite wellness.

Compile: Under your chairmanship, the Alliance will help this working group compile best practices related to your topic. You and your partners may choose to enhance your research by conducting a series of public focus groups/town meetings throughout Minnesota that ask HR managers about their awareness of tobacco-related worksite issues and solutions. Each focus group, for example, could be a public meeting (with media relations) supported by the Alliance.

Present: You will present your findings in a public meeting of the Institute, completely supported by the Alliance. You (and your partners) will work with the Alliance to select the site and format of the meeting. The Alliance will videotape the meeting and make it available online. You may choose to use the information to make personal, individualized presentations to separate sub-groups or to individual companies.

Maintain: Information from your Institute presentation will be archived as part of the Wellness Toolkit that will be posted and maintained on the Alliance’s main website and the BizicallyFIT™ web portal. The information will be linked to a page that will be branded to you (and the title sponsor). You may wish to regularly update the information on your part of the toolkit, through the Alliance.


1 The Alliance maintains an active database of more than 1,200 wellness thought leaders who have participated in at least one of our programs or presentations. They represent businesses, business organizations, academics, insurers, providers, public health professionals, government, education, consultants and health activist organizations.