Lead by Example in a Visible and Sincere Way

lead-by-exampleGood leaders not only design and implement workplace wellness programs, they also actively participate. Active participation shows employees that their leaders are truly committed to the health-related goals of the business.24 As Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise says, “Rank-and-file staff might worry that taking time out to go work out will be frowned upon by superiors. But then they see the top executive going to work out and everything changes.”25 Leaders can demonstrate the importance of health by biking at lunch with employees, attending educational seminars and publicly participating in wellness challenges.24–27 More ambitious CEOs have, for example, led all-expenses-paid mountain climbing trips for employees who participated in 75 percent of the company’s wellness program offerings.28 Leaders who participate in their workplace health program alongside employees report the added benefit of getting to know their employees better, and in a more informal context.27 For further insights and examples from business leaders with strong workplace health programs, the Partnership for Prevention has created a series of leading by example guides available for free online.29