How To Create A Corporate Wellness Plan Using Nutrigenomics

HR Transform Featuring: Sherry Zhang – Founder & CEO at GenoPalate

In this interview, we sit with Sherry Zhang from GenoPalate to talk about how to create a corporate wellness plan using nutrigenomics.

Did you know that each of us has a completely unique way that our bodies process foods based on our genetic makeup? Some of you might say, “Yes…that’s a no brainer…?”.

However, did you know that by taking just a simple sample of your saliva you could have a completely unique nutrition plan built for you? Well, that’s exactly what we talk about in this interview and how the companies of the future are using this to create a healthier workforce.

Here is how to create a corporate wellness plan using nutrigenomics


Nathan Harris: We’re here in Milwaukee with Sherry Zhang of GenoPalate. We’re excited to touch on what they’re doing. Last time we were in Seattle at Moz. Sherry, tell me a little bit about what you’re working on and how you’re gonna make something different.

Sherry Zhang: Oh, sure. Thank you. Thank you for having me. My name is Sherry Zhang, I am the Founder and CEO of a company called GenoPalate. We provide a unique solution to help people eat healthy based on your unique genetic makeup. So we have a proprietary algorithm that can match your optimal genetic eating needs and habits with the whole foods that can provide you the nutrients and amount of nutrition that your genetics really wants. Right now actually launching initiative where we want to not only help the direct to consumers but also but that in to our organization’s wellness program to help the workplace become a stronger force as a whole.

What does HR Transform mean to you?

Nathan Harris: Yeah, absolutely. It’s super important, as we work more with a lot of companies in the HR space, we see things like absenteeism and how much that affects your organization as a whole and a lot of that is due to sickness not only within themselves, but within their families as well. When you have a child that’s sick and you have to stay home from work. Health and wellness is really important not only for the organization’s culture but also your bottom line.

Nathan Harris: When you think about HR transformations is what this series is about, what do you see in terms of what you’ve been doing in terms of the wellness space, etc., that is changing, and what does that mean to you?

Sherry Zhang: Yeah. I think it’s about changing the culture of how we manage the human resources, which is critical important. Company is about people, and how do we provide intelligent way to really empower not only the whole “company”, but also the individuals that really contribute into the small team to bigger team to the whole company success. I think we are really getting to the point where we have a lot of solutions, or we have a lot of problems that we could start to have more intelligent way of addressing those.

What’s the best piece of HR advice you have ever gotten or has made a lasting impression on you?

Nathan Harris: Absolutely. The next piece, I really think about when you just mentioned that is, as you’re building small teams and large teams right? Right now, you would be considering it’s a small team as you’re growing, as a startup. What has been some of the things you’ve seen? Startups are challenging. Turnover is high in them as well. What has been some advice that you’ve gotten that’s helped you to shape the culture of your organization and pick the right team members?

Sherry Zhang: Yeah. Yeah. One of the most precious advice I have ever gotten from a mentors is working with your team is not about what you want, it’s about your team wants. Eventually, when this aligned, you will become very successful and effective teamwork.

Nathan Harris: Yeah. That’s really important. A lot of individuals, what I always talk about is purpose in hiring is the individual’s purpose needs to match with the objectives of the organization. They fit together like a puzzle. That makes that bigger piece, which will be for you, GenoPalate, for me, Ease. It’s really awesome to see that that’s a priority. As that priority continues to move forward in a lot of organizations, I start to think about what’s next, and how we better attract those things.

What is one prediction you have for the future of HR?

“A more intelligently empowered workplace that take into account of the human side of it, take into the needs of individual talent” – Sherry Zhang

Nathan Harris: What are some predictions you have as you look at the corporate landscape for, not even five years from now?

Sherry Zhang: I think some of the traditional companies, successful companies, they probably are still stuck in a culture viewed from the ’90s. People are asking for changes, but a lot of people don’t know how to approach it. I think in the next three to five years, my prediction will be for workplace to become more data and outcome driven, and more intelligently empowered workplace that take into account of the human side of it, take into the needs of individual talent, and really restructure it into something more efficient for the company mission.

Nathan Harris: Yeah, and that touched on my next question which it has to do with, what are some of the larger things that need to change? That’s really awesome because you touched on data driven right? So in your space, your data driven is in the wellness side. In our space or in some other companies, there are psychometric or cognitive or behavioral data. All of those things come together to help people to realize that people are more than personnel. That culture is defined with the data that you collect, and how those things interact with each other.

How do you leverage technology to increase connections among team members and within your organization?

Nathan Harris: It’s really good to hear. With that, how do you leverage that type of technology in your small team today? Is there anything that you guys are doing that’s probably different than other people?

Sherry Zhang: Yeah, I’m not sure we’re different, we just do what we, our hearts wants to do, which is we eat a lot together, and we love, we’re passionate about health and food and genetics information. Actually, we, somehow, we tie them together. We cook together a lot. Actually, everybody on the, we’re a small team, but we’re going to keep the culture going. Everybody’s typed for their genotype in nutrition. We knew who, what kind of food is on the top of everybody’s list, and some are not, so we’ll be able to use that to tailor our group meals. I cook for my team while the best thing I can think of at my office.

Nathan Harris: Yeah.

Sherry Zhang: Yeah, I think it was empowered by really itself that we deliver to everybody in the world, but at the same time, we benefit. We should be the first one to try it and benefit from something that we’re truly passionate and believe in. That’s really helpful for me to filling, this is almost like family. I have one employee the other day, I said, what is GenoPalate to you? That kind of question. He said, this is home away from home.

Nathan Harris: Yup, that is so awesome to hear, especially as an employer. It’s just knowing that people connect personally with the mission that you have, and it’s something we have here. I guess we can even share with some of our partners is ways that you can be a practitioner, or you can bring wellness into your organization. Make it a priority so that you team can live healthier lives and happier lives. Home away from home, we want them to be healthy in both places.

Sherry Zhang: Yeah.


Nathan Harris: I appreciate you taking the time to sit with us. If you want to check out GenoPalate to learn more about how you can add this into your organization, we’ll send a link in the comments below. We’ll also be able to connect with them at HR Transform in just less than three weeks. We’re going to have a couple more videos coming up sitting with just awesome people that care about culture, care about business and are willing to step out and make a difference for it.

Sherry Zhang: Yeah, awesome. Excited to meet you.

Nathan Harris: Appreciate it.

This was a very powerful interview that we enjoyed and it left us asking ourselves. “Just how healthy are we if we aren’t eating based on the way our bodies were designed to?”

We are thrilled to have even more great conversations like this one at HR Transform in Las Vegas in just over a week!

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