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After beautiful spring weather, we woke up Thursday morning to cooler temps and snow! A reminder from nature to just go with the flow. 

Our final day at Thrive was flipped, kicking things off with Breakout Sessions that continued to highlight your successes and “what worked.” One of the key messages we’ve heard across the board: the value of champions. 

Breakout Track Highlights 

  • Suffolk Public Schools and Longview Independent School District shared how Virgin Pulse has driven behavior change and meaningful outcomes. Suffolk commented, “Virgin Pulse has helped us to overcome immense challenges in health and wellbeing, especially throughout the pandemic when stress levels were high, and health and wellbeing was at an all-time low.” 
  • Honda’s Shawn Shepherd shared the secrets to the company’s “Thriving in Year One” award success, including the use of coaching, incentives, the My Care Checklist, and more. Shawn himself lost 115 pounds using Virgin Pulse, and noted the platform’s tips helped keep him engaged, and coaching sessions kept him accountable.   
  • Maine Education Association Benefits Trust shared its 6 drivers to program engagement: 1.) Remember: First impressions matter; 2.) Lead with the member value & benefits; 3.) Comprehensive culture of health; 4.) Customize communications; 5.) Design motivating incentives & programs; and 6.) Create FOMO. 
  • Tampa General Hospital outlined how they went from good to great engagement in their program, noting the importance of measurement. Some of Tampa’s most successful elements? VP partner programs, challenges, and champions.     

Mainstage Highlights 

We started our final mainstage program with a fun and informative workspace enhancement session led by HGTV co-hosts Austin Coleman and Raisa Kuddus. They began by walking us through a brief history of office and workspace design and then modern office trends. What’s en vogue today? “Hotelification” of the workplace, smart offices, and co-working spaces, among others. Raisa and Austin then walked us through a live re-organization of a messy desk, offering five tips.

  1. Clear the clutter  
  2. Corral those cables  
  3. Improve lighting 
  4. Be more ergonomic 
  5. Make the space your own 

Next, LGBTQ advisor Jessica Halem led a powerful session to help us better understand how to improve health equity and intentional inclusion for the LGBTQ population. She shared her top 10 tips to better understand this community, here are a handful to start with.

10. Language unlocks who we are – It does change over time and in different situations; behind every one of those LGBTQ letters are real people. 

8. Transgender people have always existed – Trans people have existed in every country and culture throughout time. We need to treat them with the respect and dignity that every human being deserves. 

7. Everyone deserves a family – LGBTQ people have the same needs as others, and many want to have a family. Fertility benefits are a perfect example of how to ensure your workplace has real equity – make sure your benefits support them in forging this path. 

2. Practice empathy even when you don’t understand – “You don’t have to go to a drag brunch to know that drag queens are no one’s enemy.” Think about it: you know when people are being cruel and unkind. 

Finally, Virgin Pulse CEO Chris Michalak wrapped up Thrive Summit 2023 by sharing an influential leadership framework that enables both you and your organization to grow forward. Across four categories, Chris shared the difference between “good,” “great,” and “influential” leaders. He noted, “everyone wins when a leader gets better.” 

Influential people are led by two places: their head and their heart. 

From their head:   

  • Intellectual curiosity  
  • Willingness to explore  
  • Need to fuel own personal development   

From their heart:  

  • Need to do something different  
  • Restless passion for a cause  

Thank you all for joining us for the 10th anniversary Thrive Summit! We hope you agree it was a powerful three days to fuel your head and your heart.