Creating Inclusive Wellness and Well-being Programs That Work for Everyone with Laura Putnam

Listen on:

About this Episode

Laura Putnam is a founder and the CEO of Motion Infusion. A former high school teacher, competitive gymnast, dancer, and public policy worker, Laura brings her sensibility as an educator to corporate wellness and well-being. 

In this episode, Laura explains the concept of wellness privilege and how the perfect storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd protests have awakened organizations to social issues and well-being. She discusses why well-being looks different for each individual, how bosses can increase the chances of their employees having heart attacks, and why now is the perfect time for organizations to incorporate wellness as a critical workplace safety consideration. 

Listen to discover why employees won't participate in wellness programs and why wellness programs aren't capable of solving culturally engrained facets of a given workplace, such as toxicity and burnout. 

Key Takeaways from this Episode

"We have not paid enough attention to those external factors that relate to the world of DE&I, things like gender, race, age, and religion, that really shape our capacity as individuals to be able to make the healthy choice."

"There is a willingness now for organizations and their leaders to begin to entertain bigger, more systemic questions around the pursuit of well-being."

"Whether or not well-being is part of a manager's job description, the manager has everything to do with the extent to which their team members are well or not."

"You have a choice to make. Are you going to stick your head in the sand and pretend like this wellness and well-being stuff doesn't matter, and it's up to the individuals to do it themselves, and it's up to HR to create these wellness programs? Or are you going to put on your cape and become that agent of change, that multiplier of well-being for your team?"

Show Breakdown

00:14 - How did Laura Putnam get involved in the well-being space, and what is she currently doing?

01:06 - What does wellness privilege mean? 

03:28 - Why is the concept of wellness privilege now being acknowledged? 

08:07 - How important are managers in the workplace?

10:45 - How difficult is it to get managers to realize the importance of their role?

12:35 - How did Laura's Managers on the Move program start?

14:51 - Where do many companies go wrong in offering well-being programs to their employees?

17:18 - How can organizations balance high performance with employee well-being?

19:50 - How can organizations use The Great Resignation to rethink wellness and productivity? 

21:35 - How do you determine which companies are just talking and which companies actually enacting change? 

24:12 - How important are programs like the Global Healthcare Accreditation For Business program [link] in validating a company's commitment to its employees? 

27:37 - The new norm around well-being and mental health.

33:31 - Some closing thoughts.


Laura Putnam

Laura Putnam, MA, author of the award-winning Workplace Wellness That Works, is CEO and founder of Motion Infusion, a leading well-being provider. Her work has been covered by MSNBC, The New York Times, FOX News, ABC News, US News & World Report, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and NPR. She is a former urban public high school teacher, international community organizer, dancer, gymnast and now a movement-builder in the world of health and well-being. With a mission to get people and organizations “in motion,” Laura is a frequent keynote speaker and has worked with a range of organizations from Fortune 500s to government agencies to academic institutes and nonprofits. She is a member of the Google Vitality Lab, serves on the Everside Strategic Advisory Committee and is a contributor to Journal of Compensation and Benefits. In addition, she teaches at Stanford University, is the recipient of the American Heart Association's "2020 Impact" award as well as the National Wellness Institute’s “Circle of Leadership” award. A graduate of Brown University and Stanford University, Laura lives in San Francisco with her fiancé.

Learn More →
No items found.