The Rise Of The Chief Wellness Officer.


Just like technology, human resources, physical assets, and intellectual & financial resources are a company’s assets, happiness is also a corporate asset

It is a potential and dynamic resource that can be measured and appropriately leveraged.

So, if you can have a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Intelligence Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Chief Financial Officer – Why not a Chief Wellness Officer? 

Even though they are very few in numbers today – make no mistake – their numbers are growing. These leaders are revolutionising the employee experience to change work for good.

Organisations are realising that in today’s volatile business environment, elevated levels of stress and anxiety amongst the employees are having severe effects on their wellbeing. They are fast becoming a major cause for breakdowns and burnouts that spell disaster for businesses of all sizes across industries

There was never a greater need than today to look after the well-being of business leaders and employees as most of us are aware of the connection between employees’ health and high performance. 

It is time to make wellness a priority and an increasing number of modern Human Resource (HR) leaders are improving employee well-being and boosting morale.

So, what does a Chief Wellness Officer (CWO) do?

Chief Wellness Officers are responsible for overall employee wellness. They oversee the creation and maintenance of a culture that promotes advocacy, openness, and support within their organisations

They strategize and collaborate with other leaders across the business to provide oversight and implement change for the betterment of the workforce.

Reduce burnout requires work-life balance and leadership: hence the Chief Wellness Officer.

Most organisations have some sort of wellness program already in place. These include employee engagement programs related to Physical wellbeing – programs around fitness, diet control, yoga, medical tests and doctors on call, etc. 

Many organisations have also empanelled psychologists and counsellors who are available on-call for employees and they help enhance employees’ emotional, mental, and psychological well-being.

However – there is a dire need to go beyond just the Physical and Emotional well-being of Employees. What is required is to also create awareness amongst employees to address the other areas that also lead to anxiety and stress. These areas include their finances, career, relationships, personal growth, etc.

It is essential to create a learning environment for them across the other aspects of their wellness.

The Chief Wellness Officer brings in a holistic approach to organisational and employee wellness and puts effective learning mechanisms in place.  Also brings in wellness measuring tools that generate employee/team/organisation Wellness Index (more about this in the next article) and uses a mix of these to create workplace wellness. 

Most importantly – the CWO also gets leadership buy-in for the wellness programs.

A company culture that encourages healthy workplace habits provides the business with serious value. Consider the healthcare costs and unplanned time-off that comes with an employee’s mental and emotional collapse.

A workforce that is high on positive wellness experiences results in lower rates of absenteeism and higher levels of satisfaction and productivity.

It is time now to hire your own Chief Wellness Officer. 

Ajay Mahajan | Wellness Coach

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