The Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist (CCWS) program is driving a paradigm shift in the world of wellness and health as it helps managers and business leaders identify why their programs may not be moving the needle in achieving optimal employee health.
Through the CCWS programs, wellness specialists are exposed to the nuances of corporate wellness and identify the factors that drive engagement and growth in corporate wellness programs. The program, therefore, trains stakeholders in building wellness initiatives that truly meet employee’s unique needs and drive engagement.
In this interview with Corporate Wellness Magazine, Alex Hixon, the CEO and Founder of Rural Mobile Health and Wellness and a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, describes the current trends in the corporate wellness space and shares his thoughts about the future of the industry.
How important is well-being to you personally?
Well-being is extremely important. Well-being is life and leads to optimal living.
Because I’m a wellness professional, I must walk the walk and talk the talk. The advice I give my clients is what I live. Being well is the key to a happy and balanced life. It is extremely important in today’s time to be conscious of our health: mindful eating, mindful movement and being mindful of our stress levels.
What change have you noticed over the last year with corporate wellness?
Companies are paying more attention to health and wellbeing and are implementing more wellness programs to educate and hold employees accountable for their own wellness. One area where I see a big change is the growing awareness and emphasis on mental health and stress management. I have become more aware of how prevalent issues such as anxiety and stress are among my clients and employees nationwide. I have noticed an increase in wellness programs and initiatives to address these issues.
Another change I see is that there is a lack of communication from C level Executives with their team. To have a more robust and engaging wellness, leadership needs to engage and communicate better with employees on wellness matters.
Where do you see the industry headed?
The Wellness industry will grow as the connection between health and productivity becomes more evident. More advanced technologies including AI-driven innovation will continue to be developed that will lead to better engagement and accountability. I also see a future in AI even though it will never take the place of corporate wellness professionals and or health coaches, but it can enhance how we do our job by providing personalized health recommendations and interventions.
I also see a shift toward more Holistic Wellness where companies are focusing on the whole person and not just physical health but also mental, emotional and social well-being.
What are the most important focus areas for you in corporate wellness for the upcoming year?
Providing more accountability measures and tangible outcomes. Also adding more movement-based programs to increase fitness levels to incorporate along with body composition consulting. Employee engagement is a key focus. It’s important for companies to create incentive programs for employees to participate in wellness programs, such as rewards for achieving health/fitness goals.
I will be providing more data analytics in the year to come. I want my clients to be able to see their process in digital, graphic form.
If you could give our readers one piece of advice regarding wellness programs, what would it be?
It all starts with Self Accountability: It has to matter to you personally and you have to recognize that you are responsible for your well-being. You must want to be well and know why you want to be well. This must be incorporated into any wellness program for it to be successful.
My motto has always been to stay FIT, FOCUSED and FAITHFUL through getting proper nutrition, daily exercise and stress management. I deliver these three components in a country style of communication that resonates with my clients. For example, I tell my clients, “If you’re trying to lose your gut, you gotta get off your butt.” “If you’re trying to get lean, you need to eat more greens and beans.” And finally, in regard to stress, “God does not bless mess or stress, so work at being your best and he’ll take care of the rest.”
Why did you go through the CCWS program?
The most important reason I went through the CCWS program is so I would be able to greater serve my clients by making a positive impact on their wellbeing.
Also, it was a credibility builder and quickly established me as an expert in the industry. I needed additional education as leverage. This program also gave me the designation I needed to stand out as a Wellness Professional.
What was the most valuable takeaway of the CCWS program for you?
Greater awareness of wellness through educational videos, learning, etc. have allowed me to inform, inspire and empower employees from all walks of life to live healthier lives. Staying consistent with wellness practices has built care and credibility resulting in more business.
The program also gave me the necessary tools such as webinars and daily tutorials to keep me informed on how to implement better wellness programs.