Wellness Coordinators – Utilizing Judd Allen’s 4 Phases of Culture Change (Use This)

As a Worksite Wellness Coordinator, part of your role is to be a change agent for both individual change and organizational change. You do want to be a successful change agent don’t you?

Culture will always trump strategy, pure and simple. Your worksite wellness program needs to initially recognize and align itself with the existing organizational culture and where necessary, launch an initiative to change the organization’s culture.

Dr. Judd Allen is a leading specialist in healthy culture change. Dr. Allen writes that “culture change is a long-term process that is best achieved systematically. In most organizations, 4 phases – carried out over a year or more – make up a practical approach.” (Allen, 2008, p. 44). Dr. Allen’s 4 phase model includes:

Phase 1: Preparation

This phase is about culture/climate analysis, objective setting and development of change leaders and healthy culture leaders. The analysis is accomplished through culture/climate surveys, focused interviews and observation.

Phase #2: Involvement

In this phase, the vision of the new culture is introduced to all levels within the organization. Following the introduction of the vision, employees are given an opportunity to set personal health and wellbeing goals.

Phase #3: Integration

The Integration phase is about aligning the cultural touch points with the new desired culture. A cultural touch point is a point where the culture and the employee connect or touch. Cultures generally have 10 different touch points. These 10 points are:

1. Modeling – More role models (both employees and leadership) exhibiting healthy behaviors along with fewer role models exhibiting unhealthy behaviors.

2. Rewards and Recognition – Recognition and reward of healthy behaviors along with less recognition and rewarding of unhealthy behaviors

3. Push – Back – Push back against unhealthy behaviors

4. Recruitment and Selection – Featuring the benefits of the organization’s wellness culture during the recruitment process and as a tool for employee retention

5. First Impressions and Orientation – Getting new employees off to a good wellness start during the on-boarding process

6. Learning and Training – Providing employees with the knowledge and skills needed to make and sustain healthy lifestyle behaviors

7. Traditions and Symbols – Adjusting the organization’s current traditions and symbols to be consistent with the new healthy culture

8. Communication – Incorporating wellness and wellbeing messages into the organization’s communications; putting mechanisms in place to facilitate the receipt of feedback about how the wellness and change initiatives are doing.

9. Relationship Development – Building and offering opportunities for establishing and strengthening social connection and support around healthy activities

10. Resource Commitment – Provision of the financial, personnel, time, space and equipment needed to support the wellness and culture change initiatives

Phase #4: Sustainability

Sustainability includes such things as evaluating the progress of change, renewing and extending the current change initiative, celebrating successes and planning for the next round of culture change.

Successful and sustainable worksite wellness programs require alignment between the program and the organization’s culture.


Allen, Judd. 2008. Wellness Leadership: Creating Supportive Environments for Healthier and More Productive Employees. Burlington, Vermont: Healthyculture.com

A Culture Based Approach

A culture based approach to worksite wellness has a long and successful track record. A healthy culture is a positive, supportive and energizing culture. As a Judd Allen Certified Wellness Culture Coach, I invite you to let me help you analyze your organization’s culture and climate and to create your effective, successful and sustainable wellness program. I specialize in mentoring worksite wellness program coordinators and creating Done With You worksite wellness and well-being programs. You can contact me at [email protected].

Brought to you by Bill McPeck, Your Worksite Wellness Mentor. Dedicated to helping worksite wellness coordinators create successful, sustainable worksite wellness and well-being programs, especially in small employer settings.