E006: Become an Agent of Change for Wellness with Laura Putnam

My guest for Episode 006 is Laura Putnam, CEO of Motion Infusion.

Laura talks about how we need to become agents of change for wellness by building our story banks and tapping into the emotional triggers for behavior change.

She provides nine powerful mantras for corporate wellness programs that are proven to create long-lasting improvements.


Mantras for Corporate Wellness
1. Start thinking of yourself as an agent of change. Remember the “social ripple effect rule of three”. Your own behavior affects your friends, your friends’ friends, and your friends’ friends’ friends.
2. Remember that adults in the workplace are just grown-up kids (that were once in school); the same behavior change tactics work in both settings.
3. There is no one size fits all approach to creating an effective and long-lasting corporate wellness program.
4. Get started with baby steps.
5. When it comes to wellness, it’s not about giving people more information; it’s about helping people to do what they already know they should be doing.
6. Use emotions to drive behavior change. Build up your story bank to support behavior change that is emotionally driven.
7. To create change, communicate/think about the “here and now” benefits (e.g. immediately feeling better and more energetic) as opposed to long-term benefits (e.g., cardiovascular health, morbidity factors, etc.).
8. Start with what is already working; avoid pointing the finger at employees and making them feel like it is their fault that they are not healthy/energetic.
9. Wellness does not have to live under the name “wellness” in an organization. Try areas that the organization already values, such as leadership, development, and training.

About Laura:  Laura knows how to get things moving, and she invigorates workplaces on a daily basis in a highly effective – and really fun – way. She is an author, speaker, trainer, and consultant who works with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. She is the author of Workplace Wellness that Works:  10 Steps to Infuse Well-Being and Vitality into Any Organization. 

Laura currently serves as the Chair of the American Heart Association’s Greater Bay Area 2020 Task Force, and she is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker at national and international conferences and events on wellness. She is an expert in motivation, behavior change, human performance improvement, and building healthier, happier and more innovative organizations.

Previously, Laura taught in urban public high schools, served as an executive director of a youth-leadership organization, and was a staff member of the US Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust. Laura was also a nationally competitive collegiate gymnast, a professional dancer, and is a certified Pilates and fitness instructor. Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in International Relations and a Masters degree in Education from Brown University.

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