Healthy employees are more productive AND cost less money. More importantly, I believe creating a health positive work culture where employers and employees are in alignment with well-being can and will save lives.

The pandemic pause brought us to a moment of collective reckoning about what it means to live well and to work well. As a result, employees are sending employers an urgent signal that they are no longer willing to choose one — life or work — at the cost of the other. Working from home brought life literally into our work. And as the world now goes hybrid, employees are drawing firmer boundaries about how much of their work comes into their life. Where does this leave employers? And which perspectives and programs contribute most to progress? In our newest interview series, Working Well: How Companies Are Creating Cultures That Support & Sustain Mental, Emotional, Social, Physical & Financial Wellness, we are talking to successful executives, entrepreneurs, managers, leaders, and thought leaders across all industries to share ideas about how to shift company cultures in light of this new expectation. We’re discovering strategies and steps employers and employees can take together to live well and to work well.

As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Stacy Fritz, President and CEO of FIT2order.

Stacy Fritz believes that companies grow and thrive when employees are well AND building healthy teams is a leadership opportunity to not only save money, but more importantly, to save lives.

She has spent the last 30 years in the health and wellness industry inspiring individuals, families, teams, and organizations to invest in their health by using nutrition, movement and stress management tools to support a busy lifestyle.

Stacy is the President and CEO of FIT2order (, a women-owned corporate wellness company based in Towson, MD. She has served on the Board of Advisors for the non-profit organization, Believe Big and continues her work as a patient advocate for those on the cancer journey.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you better. Tell us about a formative experience that prompted you to change your relationship with work and how work shows up in your life.

Health and well-being have been a large part of my life for most of my life, but I didn’t truly understand the impact of daily lifestyle decisions until about 6 years ago. in the spring of 2016, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 6 months later, my dad needed emergency triple bypass surgery. Just as my parents began to heal, my only sibling, my brother Brad, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer in February of 2018, at 46 years old.

In a short 18 months, my parents and my brother would be faced with life changing illnesses. It was determined that all 3 diagnoses were not genetic in origin.

My brother died October 21, 2020, at 49 years old, a diagnosis typically found in men 70+ years old.

This experience shifted and re-focused my efforts on the power of prevention, specifically, the daily behavior and lifestyle choices we make and the control we “mostly” have over our health. Many adults will spend anywhere from 1/3 to ½ of their waking hours at work or doing work related activities. I believe the daily habits we practice at home and at work will either contribute to the prevention of chronic disease or contribute to the chronic disease diagnosis that may be down the road.

Harvard Business Review predicts that wellness will become the newest metric employers will use to analyze and to assess their employees’ mental, physical and financial health. How does your organization define wellness, and how does your organization measure wellness?

The Oxford Dictionary defines wellness as the state of being healthy or the daily efforts (e.g., exercise, nutrition, mindfulness) towards a sense of well-being. Wellness is the daily habits we create that contribute to the prevention of chronic illnesses and support an overall sense of well-being.

At FIT2order, we use participation rates and anecdotal information to measure our employee engagement programs in conjunction with a company’s annual biometric evaluation and health risk assessment.

Based on your experience or research, how do you correlate and quantify the impact of a well workforce on your organization’s productivity and profitability?

Measuring the effectiveness and success of any wellness program can be challenging, but as we know well, the quickest way to evaluate if something is working is to measure it.

Metric Examples:

  1. Are employees participating?
  2. Is employee feedback positive?
  3. Was there a reduction in health insurance costs?
  4. Are employees satisfied with the wellness program?
  5. Are employees asking for future wellness programs?
  6. Was there a reduction in sick days and absentees?
  7. Would employees recommend the wellness program?

Even though most leaders have good intentions when it comes to employee wellness, programs that require funding are beholden to business cases like any other initiative. The World Health Organization estimates for every $1 invested into treatment for common mental health disorders, there is a return of $4 in improved health and productivity. That sounds like a great ROI. And, yet many employers struggle to fund wellness programs that seem to come “at the cost of the business.” What advice do you have to offer to other organizations and leaders who feel stuck between intention and impact?

Elevating employee health is a global leadership opportunity. I believe employers are in a unique position today to radically influence the health of their workforce where the by product is improving the health of their company. Companies grow and thrive when employees are well. Employers should go to great lengths to intentionally design a culture of well-being that is a part of their company’s identity and strategic plan, tied to their values and mission and has an emphasis on a healthy work lifestyle that is accessible to all employees- wherever they are working.

Beyond the cost savings of a healthy workforce, employers need to understand their corporate responsibility to keep their teams safe because not only is it the right thing to do, but it also focuses on the value of health/well-being and encourages employees to prioritize their health.

Speaking of money matters, a recent Gallup study reveals employees of all generations rank wellbeing as one of their top three employer search criteria. How are you incorporating wellness programs into your talent recruitment and hiring processes?

A survey by the Business Group on Health last year found that more than 78% of employees feel that their employer’s wellbeing programs make the company more attractive for potential recruits and 70% say it is one of the top reasons they stay loyal to their employers.

The future of work is less about where we are working and more about how we are working.

During the recruiting and hiring process, it is important to market your wellness program as a holistic culture of well-being that offers employees the tools that they need to manage their health and offers workplace conditions that ease burden and support health positive choices.

Your recruiting message is “This is just the way we do business. We take of our employees, and then, they can take better care of our clients and customers.”

We’ve all heard of the four-day work week, unlimited PTO, mental health days, and on demand mental health services. What innovative new programs and pilots are you launching to address employee wellness? And, what are you discovering? We would benefit from an example in each of these areas.

At FIT2order, we assist companies in designing cultures of wellbeing including sedentary tools, virtual workshops/experiences, and employee gifts that can be used anytime, anywhere to support better health at work.

For example, our signature Healthy @WORK Employee Kits provide desk-bound employees with the tools they need to create small, healthy habits while working that will lead to larger lifestyle changes.

Each kit contains a selection of products that can be easily integrated into the workday and that add up to larger lifestyle changes.

Our clients and customers are using the Healthy @WORK Employee Kits for wellness incentives, digital challenge rewards, new hire onboarding, open enrollment, holiday gifts and conference giveaways.

Can you please tell us more about a couple of specific ways workplaces would benefit from investing in your ideas above to improve employee wellness?

Healthy employees are more productive AND cost less money. More importantly, I believe creating a health positive work culture where employers and employees are in alignment with well-being can and will save lives.

How are you reskilling leaders in your organization to support a “Work Well” culture?

We are reskilling leaders to support a “Work Well” culture by facilitating workshops using a methodology called Appreciative Inquiry (A.I.) — an inquiry driven, strengths-based, whole system approach for bringing about positive systemic change through the power of questions. AI is a process for promoting a way to inspire new thinking on how to achieve an organization’s highest potential, in this case, well-being at work.

Ideas take time to implement. What is one small step every individual, team or organization can take to get started on these ideas — to get well?

Start by asking powerful “well” questions.

Ask your team(s) what they need! Bring their (employee0 voices into the wellness conversation to find out where they are struggling. They will always tell you what you need to do. Your workforce is your most vested stakeholder in your company, remember, they raised their hand to go to work for you. Instead of assuming or guessing, create space for employees to communicate their ideas and express their challenges.

What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Workplace Wellness?”

See Video HERE🡪

What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of workplace wellness?

First, I think it’s important to recognize the power of our daily choices.

An unhealthy lifestyle is the root cause of most chronic conditions- it’s the lifestyle choices we make daily that are making us sick both at work and at home. The percentage of chronic diseases that are genetic are less than 20%, meaning we mostly have control over our health.

Post pandemic, my optimism lies in the tremendous opportunity we have to take better care of ourselves and each other.

I imagine a future where it’s the norm to practice self-care and daily healthy habits at home and especially at work.

By investing in health positive work cultures, I do think employees will be better able to make the investment in their health.

Our readers often like to continue the conversation with our featured interviewees. How can they best connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?

Email: [email protected]





Stacy Fritz is on a mission to elevate employee health and well-being in the workplace by building connected and intentional cultures of well-being. Through research-based strategies, compelling stories and actionable takeaways, Stacy delivers engaging virtual and in-person keynotes, workshops and trainings that will inspire better health and safety in the workplace.

For speaking inquiries, contact Stacy at [email protected]

Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and wellness.