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WCWI's 2020 Leaderboard:

Champion of Employee Wellbeing


Holly Schneider

Organizational Life Coach, Delta Defense, LLC
Industry:  Service/Retail
Years in the Field:  28 years
Organization size:  500 employees
Courage Strength:  Moral
Moral Courage sets us up to defend our shared values and align these values with our personal values to create a thriving workplace where everyone feels a sense of belonging. For a wellness practitioner, these values bring us back to the purpose of our work and help us connect wellbeing to hold deeper strategic worth within the organization. Moral courage sets the tone for doing the right thing for the betterment of all people and serves as a compass for moving through the employee lifecycle. Learn more.


Some insight to Holly's courageous story... 

Describe how you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone in support of what was calling you to be courageous.
I was very comfortable and accustomed to the individual counseling in a clinical setting, but working and presenting in group classes in a business setting was new and different. It required learning new computer systems and software, adapting a different mindset about scheduling time and the pace of work, and developing new business acumen. Because we have employees around the nation, creating a virtual platform for coaching was initially challenging.
What impact did your actions have on your employees’ wellbeing and/or organizational culture? 
I don't know that this can ever really be fully quantified and appreciated. What our employees would tell you is that life coaching learning has been LIFE CHANGING. It has helped them learn skills, be good at their jobs, and be healthier at home. Many employees would not have made it through job transitions, life event changes, COVID-19, breaking addictions, difficult relationships (personally and professionally), depression, anxiety, past traumatic life events, and just bringing their best selves to work every single day.
What impact did your actions have on you as a leader?
I am so overwhelmed with gratitude over the outpouring of love and participation our employees have shared since this life coaching service has been offered to employees. They work hard on their mental health, have shared this with their families, and openly share the skills they have learned with each other. I am amazed at the number of employees that use the program and they challenge me every day to learn more so that I can teach and help them in the many challenges that they face.
Through this experience, how does this change your focus for the future?
This experience has changed my view of mental health. It is not about disorder and diagnosis. It's about healing, wellness, and collaboration. There is still such stigma around mental health in the world. Delta is transparent about mental health and it is safe for people to address their childhood traumas, their struggles with anxiety and depression, be open about relationship issues, and the challenges of staying engaged and motivated. I had no idea if developing a mental health practice in the workplace would work. It has worked. We are thriving. Every one of us, from the top down, are all better people for it. I hope that never changes. This is how mental health should be handled everywhere!

About being a Champion with WCWI's 2020 Leaderboard...

What does this nomination and selection mean to you?
This nomination was the highlight of my year. I began my employment at Delta almost two years ago, taking a risk by leaving a flourishing clinical practice to bring mental health services to the workplace. I felt a strong pull to create this impact in an area where mental health has such a stigma. As a practitioner, I have always considered those willing to address their mental health dilemmas as the wisest people on the planet. Disheartened by the fear and insecurity associated with openly addressing mental health needs, my focus has been to encourage transparency.  By leaning into problems people learn emotional awareness and regulation tools that elevate the quality of their lives. By highlighting wellbeing stories, I believe WCWI is making a huge impact on reducing stigma and promoting courage and wisdom in companies that can address mental health with less avoidance and fear. This is a big deal!  I am so honored to be a part of this organization and mission. 
What is one long term goal you have for your organization’s employee wellbeing strategy?
One of my long term goals is to provide the latest research, tools, and education to help others not only address their needs, but to spread the impact of regulating mental health to other employees, family members, and communities. Every person in our organization, regardless of role, is a leader.  Effective leadership requires us to lean into difficulties, not avoid them or circle them. When we address difficulties quickly, learn lessons for change and serve others, positive change occurs. This is my wellness mission at Delta.
How does your work contribute to transforming Wisconsin’s workforce? 
I think my work is a platform for influencing real change. By offering a daily blog, individual sessions, group education, referrals and resources, and large scale training on mental health, I am able to encourage a shared language which promotes a culture of awareness and regulation. When you promote wellbeing with employees, they carry this learning to their connections and it spreads like wildfire. There is observable negativity in the world. When you create a culture that promotes openness, people can learn to get their needs met in a timely and effective way, reducing problems from festering or becoming disordered. This process motivates employees to work hard, enjoying their job and making this world a better place. Workplaces can be platforms for the spreading of positive health. You can not address health without including mental health. Wisconsin can be a place people want to live and work because of our emphasis on holistic health. This has a larger impact than just being a healthy workplace. It can lead to better practices on a larger scale. 

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