Virgin HealthMiles’ CEO Encourages a Corporate Culture of Wellness


At Wellworks, we enjoy hearing about business leaders around the world who take initiative in their workplace and begin to focus on wellness. Chris Boyce is just one of these wellness warriors.  A perfect example of his mentality is found in a recent WIRED magazine article, Virgin HealthMiles’ CEO Encourages a Corporate Culture of Wellness. In this article, Chris takes a direct look at corporate wellness programs, how they’re implemented, and determines whether the current model is actually useful to anyone (despite wellness being the new hot topic in the workplace). His conclusion directly lines up with what we believe here at Wellworks for You. We appreciate his honest approach to the corporate wellness issue and think his article is a must read for corporations considering a wellness program for their workplace.  

From Wellness 1.0 to Wellness 2.0

From the very beginning, Boyce declares that the current implementation of wellness programs is “failing” or “delivering middling results at best.” By demanding employees take a biometrics test, fill out a survey, or utilize the corporate fitness room, businesses are missing out on the whole point. To Boyce, the goal should be to foster a genuine atmosphere of wellness instead of simply creating a to-do list for employees. A “culture-first mentality” can’t be faked or forced. Citing that only 30% ocorporate culturef employees are actually actively engaged in their workplaces, Boyce says that creating a corporate culture of wellness will solve this issue. A holistic vision or model “creates more productive employees” and focuses “on their total quality of life,” which includes balancing their work life with their home life as well as their physical and mental health.  

Creating a Corporate Culture of Wellness

In order to begin cultivating a corporate culture of wellness, Boyce recommends focusing “on an all-encompassing definition of health.” Health is really about a balance between physical and mental energies, family and social matters and even about an individual’s financial standing. Since stress is an American epidemic, health relates to creating and facilitating a happy medium among all spheres of personal and professional life in order to minimize stress. Employees facing stress are less likely to be happy at work, less likely to be fully mentally present, and even less likely to maintain an atmosphere of teamwork. Boyce suggests taking an assessment of your employees to help you understand what stressors they’re facing on a daily basis. Make sure that “your wellness program aligns with your company’s overall mission.” Come up with creative solutions to provide several options for your employees. Boyce warns, however, that a “cultural shift takes time and is more effective if employees feel like you’re on board with them.”

In The End, It’s All About Relationships

In his conclusion, Boyce reminds us that implementing a corporate culture of wellness begins and ends with relationships. Health education and awareness usually happens within community. The great thing about a corporate culture focused on health is that “it extends beyond the workplace.” A wellness program shouldn’t remain within the walls of the workplace. It should begin to affect the way employees view themselves and their purpose in life, which will, in turn, affect their families and their broader communities. Boyce concludes by stating, “Wellness programs must evolve from being force-fed to culture-driven, focusing on a total quality of life approach. Health and wellbeing is motivationally contagious if done right.”

We at Wellworks applaud Boyce’s holistic and culture-driven approach to corporate wellness programs. He echoes many of the very same sentiments that we hold to as a company. A corporate culture of wellness has far reaching, positive effects, if, like Boyce said, it’s done right.