An important element of worksite wellness is the creation of a positive, healthy workplace culture which might also be called a culture of wellbeing. You agree that your organization’s culture should be positive and healthy don’t you?

While many in the worksite wellness community put forth the concept of a culture of health or wellness, I disagree. I see a culture of health or wellness as being too limiting. I believe we are better offering the concept of positive, healthy workplace cultures or what might be called a culture of wellbeing.

So what are the key concepts underlying a culture of wellbeing?

Key #1: Senior Management Engagement

Senior management articulates the organization vision, leads the organization, allocates the resources, helps to set the culture and drives the program implementation bus. Therefore, senior management engagement in worksite wellbeing is critical. They must not only talk the talk, they must walk the wellbeing walk. The organization must truly be employee centric.

Key #2: Engagement At All Management Levels

Not only should senior management walk the talk, but so should all levels of management. First line supervisors and mid-level managers can be program killers. Their focus is on getting the required work done. All levels of management need to be held accountable for supporting the organization’s values in fostering and enhancing employee wellbeing.

Key #3: Allocated Resources Must Be Adequate

Too many wellness and wellbeing programs today have inadequate resources for their given goals and objectives. In order to be successful and sustainable, wellness and wellbeing programs must have adequate resources (personnel and financial) for their stated purpose. Inadequate resources are a clear way for any program to fail. Typical healthy lifestyle resources might include: healthy vending choices, stress management initiatives, free gym memberships, healthy dining choices, walking paths and paid time off for volunteering.

Key #4: Continual, Consistent Communication

In today’s information overload environment, it takes continual, consistent, targeted and tailored communication to break through the noise and get employees to take notice. One email message doesn’t cut it. Plan relentless communications about your program and what it offers. Also frequently talk about what it means to have a culture of wellbeing.

Key #5: Pursue A Comprehensive, Integrated Approach

Employee health, wellness and wellbeing are complex concepts. As such, a simple solution will likely be too good to be true. Stop looking for the silver bullet and focus instead on the development of a comprehensive, integrated approach that puts wellbeing as a core business strategy. Employees are an organization’s key resource today and this should be reflected in organizational strategy.

Employee wellbeing should address employee physical health (acute care, risk reduction and disease management), psychosocial health and socioeconomic health.

Key #6: Creating A Culture Of Wellbeing Is An Evolutionary Process

Creating a culture of wellbeing is an evolutionary process. It is a journey. While stable, an organizational culture continues to evolve. While senior leadership sets the tone for culture change, suggestions and feedback from employees should not be discounted or overlooked. Culture change is a process, so create change multiple change initiatives, learn from your successes and failures and keep moving on.

Key #7: Creating A Supportive Wellbeing Program Infrastructure

Successful and sustainable wellbeing programs are greater than one person. Successful and sustainable programs have an infrastructure consisting of champions at every operating level and worksite, from executives to hourly wage employees. In addition, successful and sustainable programs have at least one wellness, safety or wellbeing team or committee that functions in multiple roles in support of the employee wellbeing program.

Use these seven keys to help you create a culture of wellbeing within your organization.

Culture Change

Creating a culture of wellbeing is a journey, not a destination. As a nationally certified Wellness Culture Coach, I invite you to allow me to help you with your culture change journey. I can help you access numerous culture change tools, resources and materials. I can also help you create an effective, successful and sustainable wellness program. I specialize in mentoring worksite wellness program coordinators and creating Done With You worksite wellness and well-being programs. You can contact me at williammcpeck@gmail.com

Brought to you by Bill McPeck, Your Worksite Wellness Mentor. Dedicated to helping organizations create positive, healthy organizational cultures and worksite wellness coordinators create successful, sustainable worksite wellness and well-being programs, especially in small employer settings.

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