New format for Brock’s employee Wellness Day

Wellness Day will look a little different this year.

A favourite initiative among Brock employees, the 19th annual Wellness Day is set to take place June 14 and will feature two half-day sessions in the community.

The full-day event allows Brock faculty and staff to register for a variety of workshops, from flower arrangement and beer tasting to financial health and Zumba. In past years, guest speakers and instructors have come to campus to share their talents and expertise, but this year, Brock is coming to them.

Although the 2018 calendar of workshops has yet to be finalized, employees can expect to find themselves in more of an experiential learning environment.

“If an employee signs up for a ball hockey class, they’ll play at the St. Catharines Ball Hockey Club,” says Kathryn Walker, Manager, Health Management and Wellness. “If they register for an art class, they’ll take it at a local art studio.”

Walker says the new format will also benefit Brock’s community partners.

“Employees will visit venues they may have never seen or heard of before. It’s an opportunity for local organizations to showcase their programs and facilities,” she says.

New this year is a complimentary hot breakfast on campus that will kick off the event. Following breakfast, employees are invited to attend an opening plenary that will feature a guest speaker, bike raffle and the Health, Safety and Wellness Champion Award presentation. The popular penny sale, which raised more than $6,500 last year for student scholarships, will also be back.

Once the opening plenary is complete, employees will take a courtesy shuttle to their first half-day session. A return trip will bring them back to campus for lunch break (employees must provide their own lunch). After lunch, another shuttle will take faculty and staff to their second chosen half-day session, returning them in time for the normal end of day. There will be no closing remarks this year.

The new format was introduced to aid Human Resources staff, who dedicate time each year to managing Wellness Day, with the launch of Project Mosaic, which takes place only two weeks later.

As a result, employees will be asked to register for Wellness Day online as they have in the past and will need to print out their own itinerary. In-person check in will not be available.

The University’s events calendar has also played a big role in the Wellness Day revamp. Both the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) tournament and an NBA Under 14 tournament is happening on campus that day, limiting facility space and potentially crowding Market Hall at lunchtime.

“We want to make sure that the entire Wellness Day event is enjoyable,” says Leigh Harold, Director, Health, Safety and Wellness. “Sending nearly 600 employees into Market Hall at the same time athletes and fans will be breaking for lunch is not ideal. That’s why we’ve decided to try a complimentary breakfast this year.”

Online registration is expected to open in May. Popular workshops fill up quickly, with many reaching capacity within an hour. Last year, 578 registered employees participated in 82 different workshops.

“Many of our employees look forward to Wellness Day,” says Brian Hutchings, Vice-President, Administration. “It’s an opportunity to experience Brock outside of everyday routine. Employees socialize, learn new skills and knowledge, and have fun.

“Wellness Day may look a little different this year, but it’s going to be just as great as years past — if not better.”

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