wellbeing@work: DJ Ojo of Barry-Wehmiller

Creating and nurturing an environment where people return home each day safe, well and fulfilled can generate a powerful ripple effect, one that easily extends beyond company walls. DJ Ojo’s story confirms this.

When DJ first joined Barry-Wehmiller as a SharePoint Analyst late last spring, he felt great. Wanting to unlock our Better You Incentive, a program that offers reduced medical premiums for team members who take important steps to care for their health, DJ took action and got a biometric screening.

Before that, he hadn’t been to the doctor much.

“I’m young and therefore invincible, right? Why go to a doctor?” DJ thought. “But, that’s when I first learned that something could be wrong with my health.”

When leaders think about their impact they need to be aware of how far their influence extends Click To TweetAt that screening, DJ found out that his blood pressure was a bit elevated, so he challenged himself to change his diet, consume less sodium and eat out less.

He was hoping that would be enough.

But, a few months later, when he got a physical to complete the requirements for the Better You Incentive, his doctor put him on alert: Not only was DJ’s blood pressure up, but he also could have a heart murmur. She recommended that DJ get an echocardiogram.

“I had never had any health problems before, but that really scared me,” said DJ. “When you’re young, you always think that health issues will resolve themselves, so you put off getting them checked out. But, this got my attention.”

Despite being nervous, DJ listened to his doctor, and he got that echocardiogram. He also got some good news: It turns out he doesn’t have a heart murmur. But, now he does have a heightened commitment to his wellbeing.

He’s continuing to eat better, and he monitors his weight—he checks the scale every day at the office. He’s going to the gym several times a week, and focusing on cardio and core work. He’s cooking more at home. He even went to the dentist and got a tooth fixed that had been giving him trouble.

But, that’s not all DJ’s doing. His dedication to wellbeing extends beyond his own health.

There’s a ripple effect.

“If I’m feeling good, I’m more jovial,” said DJ. “Working out gives me a feeling of self-fulfillment and reduces stress. When I’m less stressed, I treat people better.”

Not only does DJ feel happier now, he’s motivated to be a force of good for others. He’s trying to inspire his family members to focus on their health. He’s sharing that same message with his friends and fellow team members, too.

And, he’s choosing to take a broader, more holistic approach to his wellbeing. He’s started volunteering more and mentoring young people who are interested in learning how to write code. He’s grateful he can help.

“Other companies offer medical premium discount programs only to lower their costs, but Barry-Wehmiller is different,” said DJ. “It’s amazing that the organization cares about team members being healthy, and about them being better people. It takes appreciation to another level.”

When leaders think about their impact—and they should—they need to be cognizant of just how far their influence can extend. The health of our people and our community is counting on them.

Truly Human Leadership is found throughout Barry-Wehmiller Companies, where Bob Chapman is Chairman and CEO. A $3+ billion global capital equipment and engineering consulting firm, Barry-Wehmiller’s 12,000 team members are united around a common belief: we can use the power of business to build a better world. Chapman explores that idea in his Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring For Your People Like Family, available from Penguin Random House.


  • Scott D says:

    Great story but surprising that B-W still links wellness participation with medical premiums. This promotes a variety of scientifically invalid assumptions and produces unintentional, undesirable consequences. For example, given that 75% of health status is related to environmental conditions, such as socio-economic status, employees who are less healthy are likely so due to having lived under less favorable conditions, and making them pay more for insurance will exacerbate that problem. You’re making the underlying cause worse by assuming it’s personal and not environmental, which is usually not true. Health status is less about individual willpower/responsibility and more about context. It seems like this is the kind of truth that B-W typically stands for. Cheers!

    • Bob Chapman says:

      Thanks for your comments, Scott. Our wellness program rewards those who make healthy choices–regardless of socioeconomic status. And it does not require them to begin as healthy persons or invest anything other than time. They can earn our Better You incentive by simply completing all age/gender-appropriate screenings (all of which are 100% covered by our plan) and by engaging in Vitality in the ways that work best for them – regardless of their health status, their income, etc. What’s more–it seems to be working as our numbers are improving.

  • Charlie McLaughlin says:

    Good article. The best thing that I have ever bought is my own personal blood pressure monitor. The readings prompted me to completely change my lifestyle both from a professional, and personal perspective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *