Working toward Well-Being

Well-being in the workplace was the focus at the Well-Being Town Hall earlier this week in Minneapolis.

Special guest U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was at Target headquarters, along with representatives from the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota, the Alliance to Make US Healthiest, Gallup and several hundred public health, human resource, academic and government leaders who met to discuss the opportunity for employers to drive a culture of health and well-being.

Target has a longstanding commitment to building strong, healthy and safe communities—and it all starts with team members, says Jodee Kozlak, executive vice president of human resources at Target. “Happy, healthy team members are more innovative and ‘present’ at work and contribute more actively to their communities,” she says.

We got a chance to sit down with Jodee to talk about the role of well-being in the workforce and the benefits of fostering healthy work communities.


You made health and well-being an integral part of Target’s work culture. Why?
Jodee Kozlak: It is clear that health and well-being at Target can become more than just a benefits-management strategy. It can lead to a competitive advantage and help us continue to recruit and retain top talent. We knew we needed a sustainable strategy that would produce tangible results for our team, company and communities. It would also need to empower team members to engage more fully in their health and well-being and encourage leaders across the company to model the right behaviors.

How did you encourage meaningful change?
JK: We established a dedicated well-being team and leveraged research from Gallup identifying five elements that make life worthwhile: health, social relationships, career satisfaction, financial security and connection to the community. These shape the way people evaluate and experience their lives—and when they are in balance, people feel and perform their best.

What is the well-being initiative all about?
JK: Our well-being strategy is focused on creating a culture of well-being and providing resources and tools that supports team members to achieve their well-being goals. Our approach celebrates the fact that well-being is not the same for everyone and that we each need to determine what will make us our “personal best.” We also began aligning our workplace—and our policies—to better support well-being. We engaged leaders at all levels, including our CEO, to enlist support for our movement. We established a companywide network of grassroots well-being captains—passionate individuals who help their teams embrace and sustain a culture of well-being. We also partnered with the Alliance to Make US Healthiest as an Alpha company to complete the HealthLead accreditation.

How have team members and surrounding communities responded to the well-being initiative?
JK: We are proud of Target’s current culture of well-being, but there is still more to more to do, more to learn and more to improve upon. That’s why we we’re thrilled so many of our fellow employers attended the town hall. By working together, sharing best practices and learning from one another, I’m confident we can create real and lasting change for our teams, businesses and communities.

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