Today, I talk with Mim Senft, co-founder of Global Women 4 Wellbeing and President and CEO of Motivity Partnerships, Inc. Mim is a positive force in our wellness industry, calling for collaboration to move our profession forward and often looking to bring in outside perspectives to compliment our industry. She’s also a “get it doner” and you’ll hear how after a conversation at a conference, she co-founded Global Women 4 Wellbeing.

In this conversation, Mim and I discuss:

  • Global Women 4 Wellbeing
  • Her approach to building thriving cultures
  • Her thoughts on common wellness practices, like participation rates and incentives
  • The future of worksite wellness

We start off with Mim telling us about how Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W) started. Younger women were asking seasoned professionals why men were all at the front of the room leading the conversations. Then, a dinner at the SHINE conference sealed the deal.

It’s important to focus on women’s health because most research on health issues has been done on men, although women may have different symptoms (as in the case of a heart attack). GW4W also aims to support the next generation of women.

Mim tells us what she thinks of the divide in the wellness industry. She believes none of us know everything and we need to strategically collaborate. Mim sincerely hopes that the forward thinking group gets louder and louder.

She tells us when she first realized the common approach to wellness was broken. She often sees the absence of a wellness strategy despite the importance of having one.

I loved Mim’s comparison of how a company treats wellness to how a company treats an IT security issue. Wellness is typically given to a lower level person and that would never happen with a security issue.

We discuss ROI and how spend in wellness is 1-2% of healthcare costs (if that much). Mim addresses two areas where companies can see an ROI. Putting in a bare bones wellness program won’t give you a return. I like how Mim called that “magical thinking”.

Mim and I talk about participation numbers and why participation doesn’t equal change. She gives us a great example from a CEO and how his well intentioned perspective wasn’t hitting the target with his population.

She tells us why a sense of delight is important and her thoughts on incentives in wellness. Mim believes they can be a strategic tool as part of a bigger strategy. They can be good for one time thing if they are culture specific. Again, Mim gives a great example that shows how important culturally relevancy is for incentives.

Those blasted emails! We get 140 emails a day every day (work only, not personal) and on average we check our email on average 36 times an hour. It takes your brain 20-30 seconds to refocus after checking email. Mim tells us what you can do instead.

Mim wants more of us in the wellness world to join together. We need to get louder if we want to address the problems. She believes the future of worksite wellness will bring more of a collaboration with other industries like the built environment. Also, a growing voice of people leadership that wants better answers.

Mim leaves us with a tip for the wellness professional who wants to challenge the status quo and for the employer who wants to build a thriving workplace culture.

Links mentioned:

Global Women 4 Wellbeing 

Motivitypartnerships.com

Book Mention: Delivering Happiness byTony Hsieh.

Mim’s Full Bio:

Mim Senft is a co-founder of Global Women 4 Wellbeing, a non profit organization dedicated to giving more women voice.  The organization focuses on research for women’s health and wellbeing issues and helping the next generation of women be leaders in their business and communities.  Mim is also the President and CEO of Motivity Partnerships, Inc. and has over 20 years of corporate experience in project management, benefits design and wellness program strategy and implementation.  She specializes in providing companies with strategies that positively impact culture and create team innovation.  She is a certified as a Worksite Wellness Specialist through the National Wellness Institute; has her GBA group benefits designation through the International Foundation of Benefit Professionals (IFEBP); her property and casualty insurance certification, Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI), through the Insurance Institute of America; and became a certified yoga instructor in 2006.    Prior to founding Motivity Partnerships, she worked with over 70 clients in a variety of industries including finance, manufacturing, law, fashion/retail and not-for-profit.  Some representative companies include Optum @ Goldman Sachs, Springleaf Financial, Tory Burch, Steptoe and Johnson Law Firm, Natures Path, Open Door and Consolidated Precision Products.

Mim currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Wellness Institute and is a member of The Global Wellness Institute’s Future of Well Work Initiative.  She is a regular speaker at conferences and roundtable discussions on topics related to employee benefits, corporate wellness/wellbeing programs, and keeping a competitive edge in today’s workplace.  She also co-facilitates the Worksite Wellness Academy for the National Wellness Institute’s annual conference.