Over the past few years, the concept of workplace has changed dramatically. Expectations in the workplace have also changed. Advances in technology and multi-generational teams have redefined the modern workplace in many ways.
More and more employees in these next generations are looking for something beyond the traditional approaches to employee engagement. They want employees’ overall quality of life to be taken into account.
A wellness culture is encouraged in many businesses as a way of promoting the health and well-being of the company. With the increased cases of unhealthy living and the billions of funds being costed by big companies, fostering a wellness culture in the workplace could help. While aiming toward obtaining a hardworking workforce, it is disadvantageous for a company if not taking their employees’ health seriously.
Innovative companies have discovered that creating a culture of wellness in the workplace is a big part of employee engagement that fosters overall quality of life. Workplace wellness programs also generate a win-win outcome for both employees and companies. It’s estimated that over the time frame of 2-9 years, well-designed programs can lead to an ROI ranging from $1.5 to more than $3 for every dollar spent.
Time for a Culture of Health: Now and the Future
There are multiple reasons why it is the right time to implement a culture of health in the workplace.
- To create a modern workplace: Alongside with an environmental-friendly workplace, a healthy workplace is considered to be one of the many features of a modern workplace. Modern workplace means that you put your people at the center and focus on becoming more innovative, productive and flexible. Health and wellness trends in the workplace bring about innovations that will undoubtedly enhance productivity, lessen sick leave, and create a happier culture.
- To engage your employees: Group activities can improve team members relationships. Health and wellness programs bring people together outside of their work to participate in activities. Communication, motivation, and collaboration are key themes of what a company need to be at the top of the game in 2017 and beyond. Nurturing a culture of wellness is one of the game-changing strategies to get you started.
- To build the brand reputation: Another factor to improve your brand reputation is employing healthy and happy workers. Be attentive in trying to build and improve a wellness culture in the workplace so that you might also end up building reputations for caring about workers’ well-being.
- To adapt to the changing workforce: Adjusting your benefits to meet your employees’ changing needs is not a new concept, but it is more important now than ever in multi-generational workforce we are in. Be aware that expectations and needs shift from generations to generations. While Gen-Yers and Gen-Zers value flexibility and love to participate challenging and fun health-promoting activities, Gen-Xers and baby boomers may value higher medical costs and care.
5 Ways to Creating a Culture of Wellness in the Workplace
This article hypothesizes that although promoting an admirable culture of hardworking in a workplace is a priority for every business, personal health is of paramount significance. Below are 5 ways to creating a culture of wellness in the workplace.
1. Create well-designed, inspiring workplaces.
As they say, cleanliness is next to godliness. It is important for you to create a comfortable work environment for your employees. Creating a well-designed environment filled with inspiration will go a long way in promoting both personal and professional well-being of the employees.
One way of doing this is to motivate employees to keep a clear desk at all times and this can be done through the adoption of the 5S organization methods that includes:
- Sort: Employees can be trained and supervised on a daily basis to ensure that they keep their workstations clean, with only the necessary items that are being used. Here, you can ensure that they get rid of all unwanted materials as well as take out all the trash laying around.
- Set in order: The idea here is to ensure that all items are well arranged and that you can access each item whenever you need it. For example, the supply store can be arranged in the FIFO system where the first in items are the first out.
- Shine: In this case, you should hire a cleaner to clean the workstations on a daily or frequent basis to ensure that it is safe and hygiene to work from. This will help your company prolong the lifetime of the equipment since cleaning them reduces their deterioration rate.
- Standardize: Plan your workplace in such a way that every process has standards that need to be meet for work efficiency and effectiveness. Everything should be in the right place and every practice conducted in the correct manner within the set standards.
- Sustain: To sustain the workplace positively, it is essential that you consider doing what you are required to without being told or having a supervisor come around to remind you. The employees should also be trained to carry out their activities within a certain protocol while preventing harm from coming to anyone.
2. Keep your employees motivated health-wise.
It is important that the employees recognize the workplace as somewhere they can grow positively through encouraging healthy competition among them. For instance, you can promote fitness among the employees by categorizing their activities like running per quarter. The team that runs the most miles within one quarter is rewarded through vacations for instance.
Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation goals can be promoted in a number of ways and the most effective one is inviting a motivational speaker to educate the people on the significance of workplace wellness. The aim is to take advantage of the emotional side of the workforce especially when it comes to personal health.
3. Promote multi-level leadership.
It is no secret that some top-level leaders like executive managers do not engage in wellness programs because they are either too busy for the set schedule or do not find them beneficial. It is therefore important that leaders promote a wellness culture by engaging in it themselves. The point here is that as a leader, the employees should see you as an example to them.
If you keep your workstation clean as a leader and engage in health-promoting activities in both your personal and professional life, you are likely to encourage more employees to follow your example. Promoting a multi-level leadership styles fosters positive practices when it comes to fostering a wellness culture in the workplace.
4. Encourage small and achievable steps.
Employees feel the need to undertake a wellness program if it is simple and does not require much effort to complete. To make the goals of the wellness program created more achievable, you ought to subdivide the activities into smaller steps for the employees. For instance, you can opt to classify your fitness program into hikes, walks, yoga sessions, gym sessions, and climbing of stairs.
Besides the fitness planned sessions, you can also book a diet expert to prepare a healthy meal for your employees and host the employees as a strategy to promote healthy cooking. This is because fitness and nutrition go hand in hand and it will be easier and fun for the workforce to engage in the small activities scheduled for them.
5. Look into wellness programs that consider ergonomics.
Various diseases like sciatica are brought about by prolonged sitting at an uncomfortable desk station. This means that promoting fitness and proper nutrition will not completely help in fostering a wellness program.
According to the principles of the modern ergonomics, you can foster a successful wellness program by:
- Having exercise balls at your desk.
- Installing ergonomic keyboards, mice, and counters to get the personnel to get out of their desks.
- Having standing desks.
- Using office-wide stretching programs over a PA system.
Now you know some of the ways to foster an effective and reliable wellness culture in the workplace. Remember that although you have work goals to meet, your health goal should also matter. Your employees’ wellness contributes to the success of your human resource management plan. Make sure you incorporate a wellness program that is flexible, personalized, and adaptable.
And when you do, your brand, your business, and your employees will thrive.
- UMich.edu. “Unhealthy Choices Cost Company Health Care Plans Billions of Dollars“
- Mashable.com. “7 Companies with Amazingly Unique Wellness Programs“
- USChamber.com. “Winning With Wellness“