Championing DE&I in corporate health and wellness programs

Citizens’ Kristin Chenevert shares her organization’s approach to DE&I.

Successful businesspeople smiling happily during a meeting in a creative office. Group of cheerful business professionals working as a team in a multicultural workplace.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) have become crucial components of successful organizations in today’s world. DE&I practices foster an environment that values and celebrates individual differences and create a more accepting and accessible environment for all employees, creating a more innovative and productive workplace. By embracing diverse perspectives, organizations are able to tap into a wider range of experiences and ideas, which leads to enhanced problem-solving, increased team creativity and better decision-making. Organizations that fail to prioritize DE&I risk falling behind competitors and missing out on the numerous benefits that a diverse workforce brings.

Below Kristin Chenevert, health and wellness manager at Citizens Bank, shares a sneak peek at her organization’s approach to DE&I. She will expand upon these insights as she presents her organization’s case study at Ragan’s Employee Experience & Wellness Conference, August 14-16, 2023 in Denver.

Ragan: Can you provide an overview of your experience in managing corporate health and wellness programs with a focus on DE&I? 

Kristin Chenevert: Personally and professionally, it gives me great satisfaction to help manage a health and wellness program that aspires to truly support each colleague and their loved ones. The Citizens credo calls for us to do the right thing and strive to be at our best every day, not only for our business but for our customers, communities and one other.

As a recent Regan’s Top Women in Wellness honoree, I take pride in leading the charge at my workplace, ensuring that quality, colleague wellbeing, productivity and morale are at their highest. These actions will help create a meaningful and tangible impact throughout the organization.

How would you define diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of a corporate health and wellness program?

KC: At Citizens, we are committed to creating a culture where everyone feels a sense of belonging — is seen, heard, respected and contributes at their full potential.

As we think about health and wellness programs, we think of the many ways that we can support the unique journeys of all our colleagues. To us, diversity, equity and inclusion means that all colleagues have access to benefits that support them and their loved ones in the ways they need support. We believe that when a colleague has the tools they need to thrive, they can bring their best and authentic selves to work, creating a sense of belonging and being ready for the best possible tomorrow.

Can you describe a specific example of a successful DE&I initiative you developed and implemented in a corporate health and wellness program? What were the outcomes?  

KC: In 2022, we partnered with our benefits consultant to perform a complete DE&I audit of our benefits programs, policies and practices. While we had many positives to celebrate, this provided us with opportunities to enhance our offerings to provide greater value and support.  More recently, we have also partnered with our communications partners to create specific benefit guides for each BRG.

We aspire to be a trusted and active advocate for a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and society. Through our company’s initiatives, we are constantly listening and evolving our commitments to meet the needs of our people and communities each day.

How do you collaborate with other departments and stakeholders to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion principles into a health and wellness program? 

KC: We have developed strong partnerships with our DE&I teams and business resource groups (BRG).  We meet with BRG leadership and membership regularly to capture the voice of our customers and hear what they value most.

How do you engage employees from diverse backgrounds and ensure their voices are heard when developing and implementing health and wellness initiatives? 

KC: Meetings with BRGs and other diversity champions provide direct access to membership, allows us to engage in two-way discussion on our benefits, tools and resources, hear from our customers, and ultimately inform our next steps.

Kristin Chenevert is the Health & Wellness Manager, HR Rewards at Citizens and will be diving deeper into her organization’s case study: DE&I: A Formula That Stands the Test of Time, August 14-16 at Ragan’s annual Employee Experience & Wellness ConferenceRegister now!

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