TPS 41: Ancestral Workplace Wellness with Brad Norris from Synergy Health


Brad, Crystal & Jo recording the podcast around a stand-up desk at Synergy Health in Christchurch, NZ

On a recent roadtrip down the South Island of NZ, Jo and Crystal met fellow kiwi Brad Norris in his workplace, Synergy Health.

Brad has a masters in industrial and organizational psychology and a diploma in sports studies and he’s built his business, Synergy Health, from the ground up, over the last 15 years.

Brad and his team are very experienced at delivering corporate wellness programs with an ancestral bent to some very lucky workplaces throughout NZ and soon to be in breaking into Australia.

We chat with Brad about:

  • Why the Synergy Health workplace would be an awesome place to work!
  • The benefits of breaking out a bit of “4-Square” (a Kiwi school game) during the work-day
  • The lack of focus on health and wellbeing in the Organisational Psychology university curriculum
  • Starting up Synergy Health and maximising productivity in the workplace – wellness isn’t just all about health checks
  • Customised corporate wellness programs and challenges vs Tracksuit Inc, a 12 month templated wellness program
  • Taking an ancestral approach to corporate wellness
  • The 10 healthy habits: Move slowly lots, move fast once in awhile, reduce fake food, eat real food…
  • Gamifying the act of being healthy and incorporating a bit of “healthy competition” with leader boards, points, team play and prizes
  • How most people aren’t driven by the goal of health improvement and instead digging down into peoples personal values to bring about healthy outcomes as a by-product of promoting peoples personal values
  • The hardest Synergy Health daily challenge – “The department of no complaints” – a gratitude challenge
  • The biggest levers to when it comes to promoting personal values for behaviour change – recognition, success, teamwork, achievement
  • How giving people the chance to identify, understand and communicate their values leads to health improvement, in the workplace, home life and relationships
  • Ongoing reflection – Do you know what your personal values are? Do you organise your week to best promote and “live” your values?
  • Building resilience after the Christchurch earthquakes
  • What a “sneaker meeting” is
  • The challenges of incorporating a wellness program into the workplace
  • The tangible and intangible benefits of having a workplace wellness program in place and communicating these benefits, including some real life stories
  • For every $1 invested a $5 return on the investment
  • Working towards values vs working towards goals
  • How little things can build up when people aren’t feeling good or feeling satisfied and peeling back the “layers of the onion” or the issues to find the underlying value that isn’t being fulfilled
  • When you’re feeling frustrated, reflecting on which values have been compromised
  • Taking ownership and responsibility for your own level of engagement and satisfaction in the workplace and communicating this with your boss
  • Are health professionals too focused on health?
  • Tracksuit Inc making the leap into Australian workplaces



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