To ensure that you’re creating a Well-Being plan for your organization that works, you need a strategy with initiatives that address individual and organizational issues. It should be evidence-based and identify health issues in the workplace. The plan should be accessible to all, regardless of their health status, to ensure that participation is high even when it is not required. And you should also be evaluating and reviewing the plan regularly to ensure that it’s effective and sustainable. Here’s how to create a Well-Being plan that works:
Assemble a team of Well-Being champions.
To communicate to employees that your organization is committed to creating a culture of wellness, it needs to have a team dedicated to leading by example, eliminating the barriers to wellness, and addressing the multifaceted components of health. Having a leader or a team dedicated to wellness and implementing Well-Being programs gives employees a “face” to approach and open up a dialogue about Well-Being issues. It also communicates a strong message throughout the entire organization that Well-Being is a priority, which can make employees more comfortable about giving feedback on programs and participating in campaigns.
Identify employees’ holistic health needs.
The leader or team assigned to the creation and implementation of the wellness plan needs first to understand how the employees’ work and lifestyles impact their health. What barriers prevent employees from achieving better health or increasing their stress levels? What are the negative factors within the workplace environment that are impacting their happiness, positivity, and productivity?
Many corporate Well-Being or wellness plans don’t work because leadership doesn’t promote a culture of wellness and only creates short-term campaigns. It’s not enough to only administer health risk assessments to help employees recognize that they need to be more active, lose weight, maintain their blood glucose levels, or stop smoking. Well-Being initiatives need to raise awareness and provide the tools and resources to address those issues. Hiring third-party vendors for one day doesn’t address systematic problems.
Build a culture of health.
Wellness plans don’t need to be expensive and involve significant investments like building an in-house gym or redesigning the entire office. You can communicate the importance of holistic health by implementing health-promoting policies that support physical, social, financial, and emotional Well-Being. Consider offering flexible or hybrid work schedules, which empower employees to demonstrate their time management skills and autonomy. Give employees access to healthier food options. Provide areas in the office where they are encouraged to take a break when necessary. By simply dedicating an area for de-stressing, such as a meditation room, nap room, or recreation room, you’re sending the valuable message that relaxing and recharging is okay.
If you’re only just now creating a wellness plan, it helps to start small. Start by looking at your facilities and identifying areas that may drive down the mood. At the start, it may be as simple as clearing clutter, letting in natural sunlight, adding potted plants, or improving air quality and ventilation. Later, when you’ve examined your budget, you can think big and consider introducing healthier food options in the pantry or upgrading to ergonomic workstations.
Continue reading Part 6.