Award-winning organizations, recognized for their top-notch workplace wellness programs and healthy employees, share a common secret: wellness champions. These passionate volunteers are the backbone of successful wellness initiatives. By establishing formal wellness champion programs, companies amplify participation, improve results, and foster a vibrant culture of health and well-being.

Pressed for time? Here’s a quick summary…

  • Wellness champions definition: Wellness champions are employees who volunteer to support and promote wellness initiatives within their organization.
  • Roles and responsibilities: With a firsthand view of employees’ daily experiences, wellness champions can identify well-being trends within the workforce and adapt initiatives accordingly. They provide peer support and inspire engagement by acting as role models.
  • Representation and training: The selected wellness champions group should span numerous office locations, seniority levels, and employee personas for an accurate representation of the workforce. Champions should be trained in communication and leadership skills along with wellness trends and best practices.
  • Feedback loops: Regular meetings allow wellness champions to share ideas and feedback, fostering mutual learning and enabling continuous program improvements.
  • Broader impact: Wellness champions contribute to a culture of health and improved employee wellness. This can boost productivity, morale, retention, and more.

What Is A Wellness Champion?

What Is A Wellness Champion?

A wellness champion is an employee who supports and promotes the wellness initiatives within their organization. They’re knowledgeable about the various dimensions of wellness and embody a passion for cultivating a culture of health. Their voluntary participation ensures a grassroots approach, fostering authenticity and maximizing employee buy-in.

Wellness champions operationalize HR wellness strategies. They translate overarching goals into tangible, relatable actions that resonate with the workforce’s diverse needs. This peer-to-peer approach enhances program effectiveness and drives sustainable engagement.

What Does A Wellness Champion Do?

Responsibilities of wellness champions include: 

  • Organizing wellness events: Wellness champions plan, communicate, and execute wellness events, increasing program visibility and participation. 
  • Adapting initiatives: They gather on-the-ground insights about employee needs (work-life balance, remote access, mental health support) and advocate for adjustments, ensuring programs stay relevant and impactful. 
  • Fostering engagement: Wellness champions inspire participation and engagement by acting as role models and facilitators and creating a sense of community around well-being initiatives. 
  • Leading by example: They actively participate in wellness programs, demonstrating genuine commitment and motivating others to do the same. 
  • Building a support network: Wellness champions offer more approachable avenues for employees to discuss well-being or mental health concerns. This peer-to-peer approach increases accessibility and destigmatizes mental health conversations in the workplace. 
  • Offering tech support: Most modern wellness programs are facilitated through technology; however, some generations may be less tech-savvy and require help to get started. Wellness champions can assist this group, ensuring everyone can benefit from program resources.
What Does A Wellness Champion Do?

Who Would Make A Good Wellness Champion? 

Successful wellness champions possess a unique blend of personal qualities and practical skills: 

  • Actively engaged: Individuals who are already enthusiastic participants in the company’s wellness programs are likely to be motivated and committed to promoting health initiatives. 
  • Passion for wellness: Wellness champions should have a genuine passion for health and wellness, energizing their efforts and inspiring interest among the workforce. 
  • Time commitment: Candidates should be willing to allocate sufficient time to oversee and execute wellness initiatives. 
  • Excellent communication: Champions must be effective and persuasive communicators, whether they are promoting events, explaining the benefits of the wellness program, or providing support to their colleagues. 
  • Organizational skills: Wellness champions should be capable of planning events, managing schedules, and delegating tasks, ensuring that initiatives run smoothly and efficiently. 
  • Approachable: Champions who are friendly and welcoming encourage broader participation and contribute to an inviting work atmosphere. 
  • Resilient and adaptable: Ideal wellness champions are resilient in facing challenges and proactive in advocating for changes that better meet employees’ needs. 
  • Empathetic and culturally sensitive: Champions should be understanding of the diverse challenges and needs of their colleagues. This sensitivity helps tailor initiatives that are inclusive and beneficial for all. 
  • Tech-savvy: As many wellness programs incorporate digital tools and platforms, being comfortable with technology is a plus. 
  • Problem-solving mindset: Wellness champions should be proactive in identifying potential issues and creative in finding solutions, ensuring continuous improvement of wellness initiatives. 

Wellness Champion Program: Implementation & Strategy

Skills & Qualities Of Effective Wellness Champions

Implementing a wellness champion program requires thoughtful planning and execution to ensure sustainable success.  

By focusing on the following key areas, organizations can create a framework that empowers wellness champions, encourages continuous improvement, and creates a culture of wellness that benefits employees and employers alike.


Ensure your wellness champion team reflects the demographics of your workforce, including various departments, seniority levels, and backgrounds. This promotes inclusivity and allows them to advocate effectively for everyone’s needs. Visible leadership endorsement signals the program’s importance and encourages participation.


A comprehensive training program equips wellness champions with the knowledge and skills to confidently lead initiatives. Provide champions with in-depth training on wellness fundamentals, communication, leadership, and goal setting. Ongoing education keeps them informed on emerging trends and maximizes program effectiveness.



Wellness champions go above and beyond their day-to-day work responsibilities. Recognize and celebrate these efforts publicly and with meaningful rewards (e.g., gift cards, time off, etc.). However, it’s important to select intrinsically motivated individuals—recognition and rewards should be the icing on the cake, not the primary driver.



A vital feature of a successful wellness champions program is establishing a formal feedback loop. As representatives of the workforce, wellness champions are in a unique position to gather and relay immediate insights. Regular meetings—at least monthly—allow champions to exchange ideas and feedback, fostering mutual learning and enabling continuous program improvements.

Broader Impact

A culture of health in the workplace involves embedding wellness into the organization’s policies, practices, and norms to support employee well-being. Wellness champions contribute to this environment by exemplifying and advocating for healthy behaviors, which influences the wider organization. The benefits of a culture of health include: 

  • Enhanced productivity and performance 
  • Increased employee retention and engagement 
  • Boosted morale and satisfaction 
  • Improved brand image 
  • Decreased absenteeism due to fewer sick days

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