Work-Life Balance

How Working for a Wellness Company Has Helped This Mom of Two Maintain Balance in Her Life

person with short curly hair standing outside
Renee Liverpool, a people associate at WW.
| Courtesy of WW

Renee Liverpool’s connection to WW dates back more than 30 years, when her mother began her own weight-loss journey and then became a WW coach. In 2010, Liverpool herself joined WW to focus on her health and wellbeing. She didn’t know it at the time, but the company would not only help her achieve her goals, but also jumpstart a successful career.

“The opportunity to work for an organization that changed my life—and to play a role in empowering others to build healthy, sustainable habits—is a privilege,” says Liverpool, who began as a coach and worked her way up, most recently taking on the People Associate role. “I am so fortunate to work for a company whose core values align with my own. The work that I do contributes to a purpose much bigger than myself. Knowing this has fueled my passion and kept me committed to furthering WW’s purpose—to inspire healthy habits—for the past decade.”

The company takes the health and wellbeing of its own people just as seriously as its members. This past year, it launched Work from Wherever (WfW)—which provides employees with even greater flexibility and embraces the future of work as human-centric—plus other initiatives to help employees like Liverpool maintain balance during the pandemic.

Here, she shares how the new policies allowed her to be a more present mother, what she loves about her current role, and why it’s important for your work to bring you joy.

Tell us about your career journey, and what led you to your job at WW.

I began my career as a WW coach in 2011. While working part time at WW, I also worked as an HR generalist for a small engineering firm and spent time as a learning and development specialist in the retail banking space. Throughout my 10-year tenure at WW, I’ve had many opportunities to grow in my role on the Studio side of our business. After two years as a coach, I was elevated into an adjunct trainer role, facilitating the training and development of other coaches throughout the country. I also had the opportunity to manage a WW Studio in the Atlanta area, where I focused on the member experience as a business driver and community builder.

In 2020, the pandemic presented the opportunity for WW to reimagine what our workshop offering looked like for members, taking our in-person workshops into the virtual space. This gave me the chance to reach members across the country as a virtual coach, facilitating weekly workshops. About a month ago, I joined our corporate team as the People Associate. In this role I get to use my HR knowledge in order to enhance the employee experience for coaches at WW and our corporate employee groups.

What has the transition into the corporate side of the business been like after spending 10 years on the Studio side?

My new role allows me to draw on my experience as a coach and a manager on the Studio side of our business in order to enhance the employee experience for coaches and other Studio team members. This role is a perfect fit for me because I am able to contribute valuable insight from my first-hand experience and WW institutional knowledge. On a typical day, I support our People Partner team in project and process management, collaborate with our Talent Acquisition team in the new hire and onboarding process, and partner with our Customer Experience team to implement policies and procedures for our Studio team members. The transition into this role feels like a natural progression and has been incredibly smooth.

What are you working on right now that excites or inspires you?

A huge part of my job is improving our existing processes and making them more efficient. I thrive on process and structure and the thought of simplifying our People tools so that the desired resources are easily accessible to the employees I serve truly excites me!

Tell us about your experience with the Work from Wherever policy. How has it helped you advance and succeed in your career?

Work from Wherever has completely changed the trajectory of my career path at WW. I live in the Atlanta area, and before WfW, unless I was open to relocating, I would not have had the opportunity to work in my corporate role, since WW is based in New York City.

I know it sounds crazy, but the silver lining to this pandemic is that it taught us that we don’t have to be “in-person” to make an impact. With this mindset, this expands our talent pool and also gives candidates and employees from afar, like myself, the opportunity to grow within the organization. I truly believe the sky’s the limit and Work from Wherever has opened up the door of possibilities for me and for many others that follow.

What impact has working remotely made on your life?

As a mother with young children, working remotely has allowed me to balance the needs of my family while still growing my career. In addition to my professional life, I’m also extremely active and engaged in my community. Whether it’s attending a PTA meeting, dropping my boys off in the carpool line, or facilitating a Zoom meeting, working remotely allows me to be fully present in all aspects of my life. And let’s be honest, not having to fight Atlanta traffic is a tremendous plus!

School recently started back here in Atlanta and the first couple days were “digital learning” days. Because I now work remotely, I didn’t have the added stress of coordinating who would be home with my son. I had the world’s cutest co-worker for the day!

In what ways does WW encourage its employees to have work-life balance?

Working for a wellness company has many perks, one of them being the emphasis on mental wellbeing. This is especially true when it comes to work-life balance. The culture at WW is one that supports thriving at work. And this can be particularly challenging in a remote environment. One of the most impactful initiatives at WW is encouraging employees to limit the number of Zoom meetings we have in a week. WW also offers Flex Fridays, which provides permanent full- and part-time employees to end work at 1 PM on Fridays year-round. This allows us a little more quality time to refuel by spending time with loved ones or focusing on self-care. This emphasis allows me to show up as my best self at work, feeling more fulfilled and productive in my job.

What do you like best about the culture at WW? What do you think sets the culture apart from other companies like it?

WW is a company whose culture embodies its purpose, “We inspire healthy habits for real life—for people, families, communities, the world, for everyone.” We truly are a brand that is “for everyone.” This culture of inclusion is one that resonates deeply with me. As a Black woman, it is important that I feel comfortable bringing my whole self to work each day. Not only am I accepted, but my uniqueness also adds value to the strength of my team at WW. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been my experience in other organizations, but I am proud of how WW continues to learn, grow, and lead in the area of inclusion and diversity. We’re not perfect, and we’re open about that, but we use our growth opportunities as a chance to continuously do better and be better.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

The most impactful career advice I’ve ever received is to always stay connected with what brings me joy. The moment your work stops serving your soul is the moment you stop showing up. You may be physically present, but your energy and your light has dimmed. This not only impacts you, but also your team and those you serve. I frequently ask myself the questions, “How is my work serving me?” and “Is my cup full or empty, and how often is it this way?” These frequent check-ins keep me rooted in my ultimate purpose and ensure that I don’t just have a “job,” but rather I am fulfilling the work that I was created to do.

Updated 8/25/2021