The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

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164: Gallup’s Approach to Employee Wellbeing with Ryan Wolf, Physical Wellbeing Lead at Gallup

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It’s nearly impossible to attend a wellness conference without seeing at least one speaker quoting Gallup data. But how does this industry go-to handle their own internal employee wellness programs? Today’s guest, Ryan Wolf, has been with Gallup’s wellness program since the beginning, currently serving as Physical Wellbeing Lead and touting more than 16 years with the company. He believes the main reason Gallup’s employee wellness programs are so successful is because the company’s core competency is employee engagement.

Ryan oversees “In the Zone” – Gallup’s internal wellness program that just passed 70% participation, providing associates, spouses, and family members with opportunities to pursue greater wellbeing by participating in health-related challenges and education. He is currently seeking a master’s in business administration and finds the most job enjoyment from creating new and engaging challenges that are modern and relevant to Gallup’s more than 1,100 employees.

In today’s episode, Ryan gives us a closer look at Gallup’s wellness program and the ways that it’s evolved over his time with the company. He explains how Gallup shifted from focusing exclusively on physical wellbeing to adding in the other four elements of wellbeing (career, social, financial, and community) into their programs as often as possible. He explains “In the Zone” and how Gallup is using gamification.

Ryan discusses his biggest challenges and a belief that he used to hold that doesn’t anymore, before sharing a bit about what he has planned for his Redesigning Wellness Academy talk. Finally, he leaves us with a tangible tip and what he believes is the most important element of a wellness program.

Interview Highlights (with timestamps):
  • [9:10] Ryan’s start at Gallup
  • [17:32] When did the health model change at Gallup?
  • [21:10] The structure of Gallup’s wellness program
  • [24:20] How does Gallup use incentives?
  • [32:00] The biggest challenges Ryan faces
  • [35:36] What Ryan used to believe in that he doesn’t anymore
  • [42:40] Ryan’s Redesigning Wellness Academy talk
  • [44:42] Ryan’s tangible tip
Mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Ryan Wolf is the Physical Wellbeing Lead at Gallup. He leads Gallup’s physical health and wellbeing initiatives through strategic partnerships with Gallup’s research team, benefits department and external medical and wellness partners. 

He administers “In The Zone,” Gallup’s physical wellbeing program, which provides Gallup associates, spouses and family members with opportunities to pursue greater wellbeing by participating in health related challenges and education.  He works closely with Gallup fitness center staff who coach and consult Gallup associates with health outcomes.  Ryan’s top five Clifton Strengths are Discipline, Achieve, Futuristic, Activator and Harmony.

Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is currently pursuing his master’s in business administration from Nebraska Methodist College. He is a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.

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