VIDEO – WELLNESS IN THE WORKPLACE
“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” Abraham Maslow
Companies are taking employee wellness more seriously these days, trying to combat rising health issues, and the business cost of having a workforce operating at sub-optimal levels.
Unfortunately, without experience or a robust game plan, more programs fail than succeed.
The real problem, as with all initiatives aiming to create sustainable change, is that many treat corporate wellness as a band-aid solution. A one-time activity that comes with great fanfare, and limps out the door. A fitness app isn’t the answer either.
Creating your program, addressing the dimensions of culture, systems and people, will set the foundations for it to succeed long term. And employees need to be involved in the solution.
Wellness is lasting when it delivers a complete lifestyle and behaviour change, and that takes time and commitment. Here are a few things to consider:
- You employees spend most of their working hours at work. Once they leave, other pressures take over and their focus on health can take a back seat. Creating an on-site wellness program makes it accessible and dramatically increases your chances of long term behaviour change. If that’s an option for you, take it.
- According to author, positive psychology researcher and Harvard teacher Shawn Achor, happy people report fewer ‘stress fatigue symptoms’ – that is 23% fewer backaches, fatigue and headaches. When 94% of visits to doctors are caused by stress, you can see why paying attention to your culture will pay big dividends. And the correlation between perceived social support and happiness is 0.7 – which is more than the correlation between smoking and cancer. You can dramatically improve your employee’s work lives and your bottom line if you are consistent in your focus on wellness in the workplace, and specifically in creating an environment where you use positive psychology and reduce your team’s stress.
- Not everyone adapts to change in the same way, at the same pace (talk to us about our Change THEORY™ insights if you want to understand how change really happens). We all enjoy stimulation, and challenge, but in different ways and differing amounts. So make sure your program evolves and has enough depth and breadth to accommodate your team’s preferences – it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
- What you measure gets managed. Corporate wellness should be a foundational pillar of your organisation, not an add on. Properly resourced, with responsibility and accountability built in, it needs support, leadership, and commitment from the employer and the employees. And it needs to grow, and change as your team grows and changes.
As ever, the challenge lies in the execution. Changing behaviours takes time, and it takes creativity and a shared vision. One way to cut though the maze is to bring in an expert can help you get it right, first time.
Here’s a short session that Heidi Dening from Workable Wellness recently shared with the attendees at our #Culture17 Sydney Company Culture & Disruptive Leadership Summit – what would you put in the glass jar, and what would you put in the rubber jar?