In this week’s episode of the PR Talk Podcast, Amy is joined by Mark Mohammadpour as they talk about what it means to be a “Chief Wellness Officer.” Mark is a returning guest, listen to that episode, Living Our Best PR Life. Topics discussed include Mark’s weight loss journey, mental health, focusing on your well-being, hybrid/remote work relationships, and establishing boundaries with clients.
Mark Mohammadpour is the Owner and Chief Wellness Officer of Chasing the Sun, which provides health programs and coaching services for companies and their professionals.
Chief Wellness Officer
Amy begins the podcast by asking Mark to explain his self-proclaimed “Chief Wellness Officer” title. Mark has been working with individuals, agencies, and in-house teams on prioritizing their well-being. Mark notes that wellness (or maybe a lack of wellness) has been an issue even before the pandemic.
Mark explains, “What I found Amy, is that there is a lot of great intention from leaders and decision-makers within organizations. We’re seeing people (through internal communications, HR, employee comms, [or] senior leads within agencies) saying okay, we need to prioritize our well-being. We want to make sure that our employees say that they’re happy, that they feel like they are being taken care of, all those things.”
Mark tries to bring in his perspective to consult these companies on how to utilize their existing wellness program. He helps them think of different solutions that aren’t necessarily from “traditional” wellness programs — bringing in a realistic approach for time management and increasing transparency across the teams to reduce stress and anxiety. Mark wants companies to know that they’re more in control of their well-being than they realize, but there are things that those companies need to put in place to help make healthier employees a reality.
Hybrid/Remote Work Relationships
Amy asks Mark if it is up to the Managers to connect and determine which deadlines each has given so that their team members aren’t working 18 hours a day. Mark says that it’s on both parties, and it’s situational. It’s on the individual to set boundaries around the manager’s demands and to prioritize their own tasks. Meanwhile, it’s on the managers to understand the workload they’re distributing to their team and make sure that the deadlines and expectations are realistic.
In being empathetic, Mark points out that managers are people too and deal with many things. Both managers and team members need to understand that and then open up a dialogue to help each other with their workload. Mark also believes that “the rules have to be completely rewritten” due to agencies hiring people from all over the globe.
Amy then asks Mark, “How are we [as leaders] playing a role in the whole team’s well-being?” Mark reiterates that times have certainly changed from managing people in a physical office to managing them from all over. The essential things Mark says are to establish rapport and trust. Mark leaves us this advice he gives to companies switching to a hybrid model:
“And one of the things I’ve talked about with companies is saying, Okay, if we’re going to work in a physical office together, let’s spend that time on ideation, on brainstorms on collaborative things that are a little bit more challenging when we’re all at home. And let’s reserve the time while we’re working from home on less long meetings, and more on the deliverables, the deadlines, the things that we need to focus on.”
Mark then shares that he knows that it won’t work every time, but it does help set clear boundaries and be done remotely by having virtual collaboration days and focusing on individual days.
Amy and Mark discuss much more in this episode, including mindsets, prioritizing yourself, examining work meetings, and implementing a system. Listen now to get tips on how to “manage up” and more from Mark.
About the guest: Mark Mohammadpour
After a career spent rising through the ranks of some of the country’s most respected PR firms, Mark Mohammadpour needed a change. Overweight and unhappy, Mark chose to prioritize his health and bring new meaning to his career. After losing over 100 pounds, and keeping the weight off for more than a decade, Mark now provides health and wellness coaching to communication professionals nationwide through his company Chasing the Sun. You can also subscribe to the Chasing the Sun podcast on iTunes or Spotify.
Connect and follow Mark on social media:
This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon
Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.