Many workplace wellness programs may be partly to blame for less-than-healthy employees and struggling companies


Shannon White


 Many workplace wellness programs may be partly to blame
for less-than-healthy employees and struggling companies

National expert to detail what’s wrong and how to fix it during local workshop

LAWRENCE, Kan. — An epidemic has hit a staggering number of companies around the country, including many in Kansas. The highly contagious illness: an unhealthy and unhappy workplace culture. The consequences can be significant, crippling companies from being as competitive as they could be in attracting and retaining the best talent to keep their organizations thriving.

“Companies everywhere want to have a competitive advantage over others in the marketplace, but many businesses don’t focus on the one area that would truly set them apart from most companies. I’m talking about organizational and employee wellbeing,” explains Rosie Ward, co-author of How to Build a Thriving Culture at Work, Featuring The 7 Points of Transformation. “Sure, many organizations offer workplace wellness programs, but these efforts amount to nothing but a drain on resources and time unless done in the right environment. Let’s talk in terms of wellbeing — not wellness. There’s a difference.”

Ward will be the featured presenter at the “Creating a Thriving Workplace Culture” Workshop from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 14 at the Holiday Inn, 200 McDonald Dr., Lawrence. The program is sponsored by the Jayhawk Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and WorkWell Lawrence.

During her workshop, Ward will explain:

  • The current state of culture in many organizations — In most places, cultures are based on outdated, flawed paradigms that are ineffective when dealing with human behavior and motivation. These antiquated approaches, which typically use extrinsic incentives, simply do not work.
  • The benefits of embracing a new, sustainable wellbeing model — When companies use a different approach to culture that focuses on creating the conditions for individuals to develop intrinsic motivation, then employee recruitment, retention, and performance improve. Employees enjoy autonomy and empowerment. They are free, fueled, and inspired to bring their best selves to work.

Moving from the outdated, flawed wellness approach to the new, sustainable model that Ward and her co-author Jon Robison describe in their book requires a seven-step process: The 7 Points of Transformation.

“Culture transformation is a journey, not a program, event, or destination,” Ward said.

To register for the event, go to For questions, contact Debbie Snyder at 785-550-5760 or by email at

NOTE: If you would like an interview with Rosie Ward before, during or after the workshop, please contact Shannon White.