Tips for Building Workplace Wellness
By Doug Bolger
The past two years have really put the importance of work/life balance and workplace wellness into perspective. Team members and their leaders are eager to find – and stay – within corporate environments where they are nurtured, not only as professionals but as people. Organizations should consider implementing workplace wellness programs and services that protect their team members’ best interests.
Why it’s important to build a workplace culture that incorporates a focus on wellness
Building a workplace with wellness at its core has far-reaching benefits. Not only is supporting your team members’ mental and emotional wellness the right thing to do, but it also directly improves retention and satisfaction. Happy team members are more productive, and they are more likely to remain within a working environment. With consideration of the costs of turnover and the importance of longevity for knowledge-building and effectiveness, there are more than enough great reasons why companies should prioritize wellness.
How to establish and maintain a workplace culture that supports wellness
1. Create a workplace wellness committee
Consider creating a committee that is empowered to evaluate and champion your organization’s wellness priorities. These team members should be passionate about wellness and connected with various areas of your organization to ensure all opinions and needs are understood and articulated in your policies and programming.
2. Take an inventory of your current resources & establish priorities
Don’t shy away from developing wellness programming because you think it will be costly. There are a number of extremely cost-effective ways to approach wellness that will demonstrate your commitment to health and well-being. To understand where you will need to build in extra support, take stock of what is already in place and what your team members have expressed they would benefit most from.
3. Provide your employees with tangible wellness benefits
Ensuring your team members have access to a wellness stipend will improve the likelihood they will invest in themselves. This financial support reduces barriers to access and lets your team members know you are fully invested in their ability to engage in the programs and services that most closely align with their mental health and wellness needs.
4. Encourage team members to take breaks
Eating lunch hunched over your computer or barely getting up throughout the day, except to use the washroom, does not support a sense of mindfulness. Clearly communicate with team members they are not only allowed, but encouraged to get up from their desks, stretch their legs and, weather permitting, take in some fresh air.
5. Be authentic about your approach to wellness
If you are going to articulate a commitment to wellness, be sure your leadership team lives those values on a day-to-day basis. Just talking about work/life balance is not enough if your leaders still make a habit of contacting their teams at all hours outside the workday. Do not celebrate when team members don’t ever take sick days or neglect their allotted vacation time. Encourage them to unplug from work and (re)connect with the people and things they are passionate about.
Most importantly, prepare your leadership team to welcome disclosures of mental health crises with empathy and compassion, and ensure they know which resources they can connect their team members with.
6. Regularly celebrate your team members
Beyond not chastising individuals for mental health issues, it’s equally important to integrate gratitude and celebration into your regular work routine. Acknowledging team members’ efforts in positive ways will help them feel more valued and give them that essential boost of energy, which may help support their overall sense of self-worth and wellness.
Partner with Learn2 to Achieve Workplace Wellness
Work with our seasoned professional development specialists to identify ways your workplace can enhance its approach to wellness and see how your commitments result in happier and more successful team members. We can help organizations deliver heartfelt strategies that achieve both feel-good benefits and improve retention with tangible workplace improvements. Reach out to us today and let’s transform your organization into one of vibrancy, inclusivity, and productivity.
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