How-to: Embracing Health and Wellbeing in Your Company Culture

About two thirds (74%) of Australian workers believe that health and wellbeing programs are essential. More than two thirds (85%) of Australian workers believe that employers should take a proactive stance when it comes to wellbeing — creating an environment that is low in stress. In a world in which half of all employees will be looking for work within the next 12 months, employers need to think about what they can do to increase employee happiness and safety, and reduce employee churn.

Workplace culture is critical. Culture is something that is learned, shared, and transmitted within an organization. When it comes to a “workplace culture,” it defines expectations within the work environment that may not be otherwise specified. A customer-centric workplace culture will be devoted to the customer. Likewise, a workplace culture that values health will put health and wellness at a priority consistently throughout all levels of the organization’s own processes.

Company culture informs how employees interact with each other, their direct management, their work product, and the company as a whole. It’s more important now than ever to protect your company culture, especially during (and after) a health crisis such as COVID, and embrace health and wellbeing. When employees work for a company that emphasizes health and wellbeing, they are more likely to take better care of themselves. They will be more willing to reach out to supervisors if they experience issues with their mental or physical wellbeing, and they will feel supported in their recovery by their company.

What is a workplace that embraces health and wellbeing? Here are some of the major hallmarks:

⦁ The organization has a clear mission statement. Health and wellness aren’t just tacked on; they are a major priority and value.
⦁ HR managers and supervisory staff members openly talk about health and wellbeing with employees and discuss methods of promoting, preserving and protecting it.
⦁ C-suite members and critical stakeholders involve themselves in developing new programs to support the health and wellbeing of employees.
⦁ Programs are visible, frequently discussed, and easy to access — employees know what programs are available to them and how to get involved.

Conversely, consider a workplace that provides health-related initiatives, but doesn’t ensure that employees have access to these initiatives. Employees may feel as though the company is not being honest about its commitment to health.

 

How to Design a Workplace Wellness Strategy

A workplace wellness strategy doesn’t emerge overnight. Instead, it’s often guided by a health and wellness partner. Employers and HR must work together to create a wellness strategy that will work well for employees, even during uncertain times. Further, employees must meet employers and HR halfway — they need to be willing to follow workplace initiatives and enthusiastic about working towards better health.

⦁ Conduct assessments regarding the organisation’s current status. Employee surveys can be used to determine the general wellness of employees, both mentally and physically. Further, HR personnel can analyse the ongoing health and wellbeing culture of the organisation, or hire a third-party consulting company to do the same.
⦁ Obtain support from the management. Workplace wellness needs to come from the top. Without help, it’s difficult to engage employees. HR professionals and managers may need to meet with higher management to show the benefits of better workplace wellness.
⦁ Establish a wellness committee. It’s always easier to get things done with a small group empowered to act. A wellness committee will work to  create new workplace wellness initiatives and ensure that goals are being met.
⦁ Develop goals and objectives. Without goals and objectives, it’s not always possible to determine whether you’re moving in the right direction   — or how quickly you’re doing so. Clear metrics make it clear how well your current strategies are (or aren’t) working.
⦁ Establish a budget. Many companies today are pulling back on their budgets, but investing more in employee health and wellness can yield high dividends in the future. Employers should consider the ROI and VOI of a strong team, and realise its impact on the bottom line.
⦁ Design the components of the wellness system. What type of programs will be in place? Health screenings, nutrition education, vaccination clinics, stress reduction programs, and general fitness programs all fall under the purview of wellness.Refer back to the initial assessments:

 

What were the most common challenges for your employees?

 Create incentives for the wellness program. The easiest way to get employees on board is through “gamification.” Create rewards for employees when they achieve goals. To foster team-building, create prizes for groups, teams, or departments.
⦁ Use the right incentives. Studies have shown that external incentives (such as winning a competition) don’t provide for long-term health and  wellness. Strategies should be targeted toward ensuring that employees enjoy the activities that they are being asked to complete, such as listening to podcasts while on a walk.
⦁ Notify employees of the wellness programs. Employees need increased transparency when it comes to wellness and wellbeing; they need to know what’s available to them and to whom they should reach out. Communicate the wellness plan through your organization’s internal marketing.
⦁ Evaluate the wellness program. Like other internal programs, the effectiveness of the wellness program needs to be continually assessed. It may need to be fine-tuned over time to meet the needs of the company.

Not every organization is equipped to develop its own workplace wellness strategy. Some organisations may need to work with external partners to create a workplace wellness strategy that is cost-effective and engaging for employees.

 

The Do’s

⦁ Develop commitment at every level.
⦁ Assess your workplace’s health needs and uncover hidden issues.
⦁ Implement the right workplace policies to support the creation of a health culture.
⦁ Create a safe environment based on trust and respect.
⦁ Keep managers, senior management, and stakeholders accountable.
⦁ Put in a dedicated budget towards health resources and services.

 

The Don’ts

⦁ Spread health stigmas.
⦁ Take feedback about health and wellbeing lightly.
⦁ Fail to include everyone in the process.
⦁ Make wellness a second priority or viewing it as a nice to have.
⦁ Pay lip service without being genuine or having real goals.
⦁ Create a one-size-fits-all program that doesn’t consider individual needs.

What challenges does it tackle?

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

Reducing onsite accidents

These cost Australian businesses $61.2B a year.

How it works

Our qualified professionals coach and educate your team to recognise your body’s warning signs that signal it’s time for a physical and mental reset. Delivered onsite, your team can put theory into action within their own work environment, which increases uptake and memorability while recruiting champions from within your team helps the change become part of the culture.

We understand every workplace is unique, so we use a 4-step approach to understand exactly where we need to focus.