Find Your WHY: Creating Cultural Alignment Around a Shared Purpose to Elevate Organizational and Employee Well-being
Michelle Spehr, MA, MEd, MCHES®, CWWPC, CWF
Health and Wellness Consultant, BSG | HJI
MCHES® – 1.0 | ICHWC – 1.0 | AAFP – 1.08
While many workplace wellness initiatives focus primarily on individual physical well-being
(physical activity, nutrition, stress management, and tobacco cessation), the WHY journey
expands by the value proposition by aligning organizational and employee well-being. This
program description session will: 1) illustrate how important it for all organizations (and
particularly those facing organizational change of any kind) to identify and align the clarity of
“WHY” (why we do what we do), the discipline of “HOW” (our values, guiding principles,
strengths and beliefs), and consistency of “WHAT” (aligning everything we say and do with what
we believe); 2) outline the practical step-by-step process other organizations can follow to
undertake the WHY journey; and 3) share some key lessons learned about the sustainability of
the Living Our Why Phase.
Michelle joined BSG | HJI in August 2010 and works with employers to identify and apply creative solutions that address well-being at both the employee and organizational levels. Her approach is based on new sciences
and emerging strategies that help create high performing organizations. She is currently exploring how we can apply design thinking and human-centered design principles to reframe worksite wellbeing challenges and spark new ways of addressing these complex issues. Her other interests include Mindful City Project where she is developing frameworks that strengthen the capacity of communities to apply mindfulness in ways that positively change mindsets and re-invent how people connect and work together.
Prior to joining BSG | HJI, Michelle was involved in tobacco cessation research serving as a Clinic Outreach Specialist and Health Counselor with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health at their Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention. She was also involved with the Well City Milwaukee initiative where she worked with business, health, and civic leaders on programs to protect the health and well-being of the working people of Milwaukee. During the second phase of Well City Milwaukee (2012 – 2015), Michelle served on the advisory board where she advised on the direction of the initiative to expand and deepen its reach.
She is a 2008 graduate from Carroll University where she earned a Master’s degree in Health Education. She also holds a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her professional credentials include certifications as a Master’s level Health Education Specialist (MCHES ®), a Worksite Wellness Program Consultant (CWWPC) and Faculty designation from WELCOA. She serves as board member for the UW-Health and Wellness Management program and the Wellness Compliance Institute.
Michelle’s personal WHY: “I serve others by curating connections; connecting people, connecting ideas, and connecting people with ideas. I’m inquisitive and energized about the process of learning. Transforming something strong into something superb is thrilling. I believe everything happens for a reason and that we are all connected. I value being considerate, caring and accepting. The future fascinates and inspires me. I see what the future might hold, and this motivates me to move toward a better approach, a better team, a better life, and a better world.”