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February 204 min read

How to Create a Culture of Wellness in the Workplace

A corporate culture of health and wellness prioritizes employee well-being. All kinds of initiatives qualify, from healthy office snacks to personalized wellness benefits. Regardless of the types of programs, the benefits of health and wellness in the workplace can reach beyond the individual and straight to your bottom line.

 

The Benefits of Health and Wellness in the Workplace

It may seem obvious that happy and healthy employees are more productive at work. What is not as obvious are the effects this can have on company performance.

Let’s look at it from the opposite point of view. When employees suffer from poor health and wellness, their output also suffers. The most severe case of this is absenteeism, when workers don't show up due to illness, chronic disease, or burnout. "Quiet quitting" and decreased productivity are also tell-tale signs of a culture that doesn't focus on wellness. 

Often, these issues come with high turnover and difficult recruitment. In fact, 77% of HR professionals agree that recruitment and retention are top priorities for 2023.

These are symptoms of a stressed-out employee base. While HR teams can't control all sources of stress (think: inflation), there is still plenty they can do to reduce stress and improve employee well-being.

 

Creating a Culture of Wellness in the Workplace

While most companies agree that creating a culture of wellness in the workplace is what’s best for employees, many companies fail to institutionalize a successful wellness strategy to get there. 

So, the first step is to be strategic about your approach. HR leaders have the ability to incentivize healthy habits. All that's needed is some thoughtful planning upfront.

As you set off to create a culture of health and wellness at your company, keep these five expert tips in mind.

 

1. Think Holistically

Great workplace wellness programs address the whole individual. Those include benefits for mental, emotional, and physical well-being. 

Employee mental health has gotten a lot of attention in recent years for good reason. According to Lyra Health, 86% of employee respondents faced at least one mental health challenge in the past year. 

Exercise and physical activity play a role in this too. A new analysis reveals that physical activity might be 1.5 times more effective at reducing symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety than medication or cognitive behavior therapy.

 

2. Start With Leadership

Every movement needs a leader. When it comes to creating a culture of wellness in the workplace, those leaders are your executives and senior people managers. They help set an example for employees that report to them. 

Your leadership can most readily impact work-life balance. Leaders that encourage healthy boundaries between work and home life will help their employees reduce stress and burnout. Happier people make for better employees. And for HR leaders, this correlates with lower recruitment and training costs.

 

3. Be Inclusive

Diversity and inclusion is an important element of all good company cultures. Diversity refers to the representation or make-up of a company. And inclusion is about “how well the contributions, presence, and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.”

When creating your wellness strategy, it’s important to approach it with an inclusive mindset. That includes soliciting input from your employees. They are the people you hope will enroll and take part. Why not incorporate their ideas from the get-go?

 

4. Provide Education and Training

Many elements of a healthy lifestyle — from nutrition to stress management, to adopting new habits — come with a learning curve. Guest speakers, workshops, and online training can help your employees adopt healthy changes while also increasing enrollment and participation in your program.

Another critical element of education and training is how you communicate about the program. Internal communication strategies help raise awareness about offerings, how to enroll, and how these programs align with your company's values. More communication creates more chances to connect with your employees. In turn, this brings awareness to the topic of wellness and embeds it into your culture.

 

5. Evaluate and Measure Regularly

Any successful corporate strategy must identify key performance indicators (KPIs) at the start. This will help you effectively measure success along the way. CHROs will value understanding the return on investment for employee programs. Plus, it’ll help you build a case to continue and grow the program over time. 

This is as important for the weekly run club as it is for the mental health stipend. Big or small, the more you understand how each initiative works, the more you’ll be able to gauge success.

 

Transform Your Company Culture

A culture of health and wellness is no longer a nice-to-have recruitment ploy. It’s essential for company performance. 

Since the pandemic, the meaning of success has changed for employees. According to a 2021 Oracle study, 88% of respondents now look at work-life balance, mental health, and workplace flexibility when considering career satisfaction.

HR teams and leaders are at the helm of driving this shift within their organization. A thoughtful and well-planned wellness strategy is a great way to build a culture that prioritizes employee well-being.

To learn more about how to create a culture of wellness in the workplace, download our free ebook to better understand:

  • The benefits of health and wellness in the workplace
  • Innovative approaches to wellness benefits
  • Real company examples

FitOn Health is part of a successful corporate wellness program and offers a physician-backed digital platform to improve your physical and mental well-being. To learn more about how to make your employees healthier, check us out here.

 

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