The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber was recently recognized by the Cincinnati Business Courier for its efforts in creating a culture of health, in partnership with its employees, by being awarded Healthiest Employer of Greater Cincinnati for two years in a row. We think their “mind-body-spirit” approach is inspiring and worthy of sharing with you, our Gen-H friends and supporters – as the “Health Generation” – to spark ideas you might take into your own workplace.
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

We asked the Cincinnati Chamber’s Tarah Cook to walk us through some of their most popular activities for making the healthy choice the easy choice on the job. (Got ideas to share? Contact Amy Goetz at, or leave a comment below!)

Wellness Plan in Action: The Cincinnati Chamber’s Top Eight Ideas for Low-Cost Workplace Engagement

By Tarah Cook, MS, SPHR
Director, HR & Organizational Development
Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

Strategies for creating a workplace culture of health can be taken farther than engaging internal team members. Take your wellness program to the next level by developing a collaborative partnership with your benefits vendors and brokers in conjunction with your internal wellness committee. At the Cincinnati Chamber, we’re proud that our external partners support us along our collective journey to better health and wellness. For example, our wellness engagement program, Humana GO365, keeps our team members focused and working toward both individual and organizational goals.

As you look to create or enhance your workplace wellness strategies, here are some ideas to help ignite your team’s energy and enthusiasm for wellness at work:

[info_list icon_bg_color=”#eb7625″ icon_color=”#ffffff” font_size_icon=”24″ connector_color=”#5e5e5e”][info_list_item list_title=”1. Encourage healthy eating” list_icon=”Defaults-cutlery”]

Host a “Bring-your-own-topping” salad bar potluck for a shared staff lunch.

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”2. Lunch and learn video series” list_icon=”Defaults-slideshare”]

Examples: Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution; Food Matters; Hungry for Change; National Geographic’s Stress: Portrait of a Killer; health-related TED and TEDx talks

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”3. Wellness Walks” list_icon=”Defaults-location-arrow”]

Hold a varied-route 3K as a group, or split into teams for healthy competition and friendly banter.

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”4. Financial health education” list_icon=”Defaults-money”]

Partner with your retirement plan vendor or others to offer group education and 1:1 plan reviews.

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”5. Get a massage” list_icon=”Defaults-gittip”]

Bring in an on-site massage therapist regularly (employees may self-pay if cost-prohibitive).

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”6. Wellness challenge” list_icon=”Defaults-trophy”]

Pick a theme or activity of your choice, ex. mindfulness, circuit training, step challenge, healthy scavenger hunt, healthy foods bingo; recruit employees to help run the program to ensure peer-to-peer buy-in.

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”7. Book club” list_icon=”Defaults-book”]

Suggestions include The Book of Joy, The Art of Happiness, In Defense of Food, etc. Encourage staff recommendations and discussion groups.

[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”8. Cook up a cookoff” list_icon=”Defaults-spoon”]

Have a contest to see who can make the tastiest healthy treat – such as smoothies, healthy appetizers, healthier-ingredient favorites – and have staff or external partners judge. Make winning recipes available to staff to try at home and share the love.


Cincinnati USA Chamber staff
Cincinnati USA Chamber staff stepping up wellness at work
Cincinnati USA Chamber Heart Mini
Chamber staff compete in Heart Mini
Chamber Healthiest Employer winners 2017
L-R: Brendon Cull, Stu Scheller, Tarah Cook, and Veronica Ruschman of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber accept the 2017 Healthiest Employer Award (photo credit: David Kalonick)
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Questions about the above?

Craving more ideas?

Contact Tarah Cook, MS, SPHR, at