Interview with a Wellness Manager, Sapoznik Insurance
The Corporate Health & Wellness Association recently sat down with Rodica Charles who is the wellness manager at Sapoznik Insurance. She has shared her philosophy about being a wellness professional, her strategy to ensure her clients are well-served, and how the team at Sapoznik works together to meet all their client's needs.
"The secret is that there is no secret." Charles shared, "We travel in person to our employer-clients sometimes as often as once a week, and we get to know the employees by name. It is personal, and it is intentional." Charles shared how her team has daily huddles, and she discussed how repetition makes proficiency, this could not be a more accurate statement. Furthermore, the wellness team at Sapoznik practices what it preaches, they are committed to their health and belief in work-life balance. This is evident in their commitment to taking the Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist course to further their education as a team, as well as their commitment to each other to know one another's client and be able to serve each of them. They are also committed to working out and staying healthy themselves as we witnessed at a recent event where they were consistently the only hands left up in the room when surveyed how many steps, healthy foods or mindfulness exercises they did in the last month.
To be a successful wellness consultant, you must develop a relationship with the client and their broker/ agents, wellness vendor, health insurer and voluntary product provider. The key to making things happen is, as the consultant, knowing that all things must work together to engage the employer-clients employee population better. It begins with actively listening to your client. Charles has learned to speak less and listen more to ensure that her employer-clients receive the right wellness and wellbeing activities, events, and strategies. By discovering the breakdown of general health and demographics of the employer-client, the well-being initiatives are customized to meet the needs of each employer.
The other thing that is imperative is that the Sapoznik team "has each other's back." The entire wellness consultant team knows each client under management by name and understand the nuances of the employer. As a team, they plan activities three months in advance and prepare their calendar of events including the marketing strategy to engage the employees for each employer-client. They set lofty goals to hit their wellbeing targets with the staff, and more importantly, they come with certifications and specialty training in wellness programs, health coaching, nutrition and fitness including yoga. They organize the entire wellness activity for HR, including the marketing pieces to help engage the employees and get them to the next wellness event or challenge.
Charles shared that it takes a creative person to make a wellness program successful. She demonstrates this creativity by stretching the budget to provide more well-being incentives and activities for less. Budgets can be tight, but that doesn't stop Charles from giving top-notch programs and services to her clients, which is evident when looking at her customers' feedback. The Business Journal's Healthiest Employer event in Fort Lauderdale earlier this year showcased several of Sapoznik's clients who received top wellness awards in community wellness. That in itself is evidence of the great work that Charles and her wellness team do.
Charles is creative when it comes to budget saving initiatives; she indicated that she doesn't have to purchase a new platform every time a new enterprise is in place. She can utilize the existing carrier platform or the vendor platform, and when that isn't there, she utilizes her statistics and data tracking forms to manually customize benchmarking reports for her clients.
The client is first in everything she does. She will sit down with HR to go through the outcomes and numbers, sometimes as often as twice a month when needed. She is a "boots on the ground" wellness professionals and true road warrior.
Charles finds time to do community events as well and networking events, to be there for her clients, and to support the interests they have. Charles concluded this interview with a final thought regarding her role, and that is she keeps vision, unity, and clarity always on the forefront of her mind as she pursues greatness for her clients.