In conversation with Kristin Weddick and Nikeisha Maddox
Attaining optimal wellness is more than trips on the treadmill. It’s upgrading our mental, emotional and physical health both inside and outside of work.
At Hotwire, we believe that everyone deserves to feel their best. That’s why we’re committed to providing the best available resources and internal support to help our employees achieve their wellness goals.
This month, our Head of People & Culture, North America Kristin Weddick sat down with US Director, Nikeisha Maddox to discuss our company’s approach to wellness, lessons learned over the years, and what should be expected in terms of wellness standards in the workplace across the industry.
Here are highlights from their talk:
KW: So, let’s start off with talking about how wellness initiatives have historically looked at Hotwire and the genesis of the internal wellness committee…
NM: When I started about seven years ago, I don’t remember wellness really being a point of conversation or a focus area. I know I was fresh out of college and felt a lot of pressure to show up 100% all the time, prove myself, all of that. Those things that most people feel, especially starting a new job and being early in their career.
Over the years I started to see more of a focus on wellness from our leadership and it spurred this desire to talk about it more. At a company off-site, I remember our CEO at the time talking about her own journey with mental health and wellness at work which led to more conversations on it becoming a larger focus area for the company. In 2018, I started an internal slack channel for all things wellness as a personal passion project to see who would want to read and discuss all of these weird little articles I was reading.
Since then, it’s been a pretty fun journey with our channel growing and more employees getting involved in the conversation. Our slack channel now has 86 people! The wellness committee began to formalize over the last few years and over the past six months we’ve been in the process of revamping how we can better support by keeping in mind how to best reach people, how we want to work with them, and how wellness has evolved and what it looks like now post global pandemic era.
KW: How did you approach your passion to lead within the wellness committee?
NM: I came at it from a fresh lens. In the fall of 2019, I started my certification program for becoming a certified health coach. I did it fully out of personal interest, but eventually it started to trickle into insights that I could bring to the wellness committee as a leader and a manager.
But the second wave, in my eyes, and from our team’s eyes, was learning if employees would be interested in wellness competitions. It really served its purpose. Particularly In 2020, when people needed that camaraderie and to have some fun! We led through a coaching lens by not just telling people what’s good for them but helping them find what’s good for them and figure that out themselves and really empower them to do that on their own. I think that’s a lot of where we’ve come over the past several years. Overall, our company shifting into that space and our People and Culture team really approaching wellness from a “how can we help you” standpoint instead of “this is what employee wellness is.”
KW: This year we’re doing our “Spring Focus.” Let’s talk a little on what that’s all about
NM: So historically we’ve done our focuses or challenges in the fall. But when we reached the fall of 2022, we realized it was just not the best time. It was a crunchy bandwidth time for a lot of our teams and we decided to hold off until we got through the holiday season and reset going into to the New Year. When we returned, we ran a survey to gauge what employees are looking to achieve in their wellness journeys. Some of the questions we asked included:
- Is it financial, emotional, physical, stress, burnout?
- Do you want to hear from the wellness committee or executive leadership on recommendations?
- What resources or support would you like to receive from your line managers?
- Do you want to participate in team competitions or do it yourself?
Overwhelmingly, we found people really wanted to have a self-guided way of going about this, while having support and recommendations on things to try along the way from their peers. So, we created our Spring Focus to engage in a bit of “spring cleaning” in our wellness toolkit for the new season.
Its broken down into through three weeks centering on different topics, such as Thoughtful Working, our Hotwire principle on fluidity of work-life balance, energy management, and those types of things. We gave people prompts asking them things on how they manage their energy and how they like to give themselves a self-care moment. It opened the door for a ton of knowledge sharing so that people feel inspired and have a sense of community without feeling like they’re required to do any certain things along the way.
We recognize that there’s still so much more work to be done on this front, but we’re committed to making Hotwire a workplace where everyone can thrive and wellness is an openly talked about matter.
If you’d like to learn more about Hotwire and our wellness initiatives, visit us at Hotwire Global.