WM Couch-to-5K program is a Hit

Motivation for movement

For years, Waste Management has had a wellness program that offers on-site biometrics screenings and guidance from regional “wellness champions,” allowing for even the busiest employees to maintain a healthy regimen despite work schedules.

“We do have some positions that are very strenuous on the body. We have positions where they’re more sedative, where the employees are sitting behind a desk,” Orozco said. She specifically noted how wellness programs are particularly beneficial to drivers, who she considers “like athletes, using their bodies every day.”

“I think that in the waste industry, it’s really hard for drivers to be involved as much as you’d like them to be in healthier activities because of their schedules,” she said.

Organizational advice

While Grimard spearheaded the event with Jennifer Roherty, the Cigna onsite wellbeing coordinator for Waste Management, the duo noted that putting on such a large event wasn’t a two-person task. “It takes a village,” Grimard said.

Every employee that participated was encouraged to spread the word, bring family and help make it a “festive event,” according to Shiraz Kashar, community outreach and education leader for Waste Management of Florida.

Kashar said there’s no one answer to putting on a successful event, but did touch on the value of networking and knowing “the right person at each site to market this program to the folks.” Orozco also mentioned the value of networking, but suggested for other municipalities or companies wishing to put on a 5K to not worry about participation rates.

“I think some people may go there from the beginning and wonder, will there be participation? Will they buy in? I would say go for it, engage with people, ask your employees. You’d be surprised,” she said. “For us it really just opened our eyes to what our people care about.”