Meet the Speakers: Tanya Barham

Tanya is one of our speakers that I’ve never met before. Everything that I’ve seen or heard about her is positive, and after listening to her on the HRevolution HR Happy Hour episode last week, I think her session is going to be fantastic. What session, you ask? Read on…

  • Who are you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] Tanya Barham

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

It’s hard to be humble when you’re bloggin’ straight out of Portland, Oregon (that’s orygun and not or-ee-gone). I’m the founder/CEO of a company where all of our staff work like little elves at Christmastime to transform our client’s workplace into a healthy, happy, productive place akin to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. Seriously. Now we just need Santa to hold up on the cookies and milk and we can declare that wellness program a success. I occasionally guest blog for Fistful of Talent and was a regular blogger on the now deceased Benefits Buzz.

  • What is your session title and topic?

The Fun Factor: Maximize ROI by making effective, science-based programs fun.

Do topics like “Controlling Diabetes Risk” inspire you to think positively about your life and health? No? Recess’ surveys of corporate employees show they want wellness programs that are fun and easy to understand. Meanwhile, employers want to reduce costs associated with poor health. Are the two mutually exclusive? Of course not.

In order for people to adopt lifelong, healthy change they must see that change as rewarding and do-able within the practical constraints of their daily lives. In order for health promotion to see results, an organization must use evidence-based methods, performance metrics, and incentives. Come to this session to learn how to manage wellness programs that effectively create ROI using: metrics, health risk monitoring, benefits analysis, and employee surveys, but that also support organizational strategy by designing, marketing, and implementing programs that participants see as fun.

This is a truer than true interactive session. Instead of big picture theoretical blah blah blah you will get a view from the trenches. Chances are good you won’t understand any of the lessons learned until the session ends.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

Steve Boese harassed me until I said yes. 🙂

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] Energetic, Nonconformist, Laffaminute, Blustery, Smart

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] I once worked at a resort in Mexico where part of my job involved manning roulette tables in sequin hot pants/

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

I think there is plenty of theory about wellness out there, but very few tools to help non experts get their head in the game. 60% of employers “do” wellness but 80% of these employers see fewer than half of their employees participate. That sucks. My guess, based on actual experience, is these programs could be doing a lot better. Since there are so many wellness programs out there and they are nearly universally doing so poorly I hope that anyone who wants to fix a wellness program that sucks or start one that works will walk away with a little more perspective and intelligence around this. I am a hater when it comes to ineffectiveness and I guess my passion about this topic is driven by a feeling that we could be doing a much better job of investing in our most valuable asset – people.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

No bandwidth = no results. Wellness should not begin and end with HR.

See? I told you it sounded interesting! Thanks to Tanya for her help and follow/engage her on Twitter @wellnesssucks as we close in on the event.

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