Moving Your Company Toward Wellness
These steps can help set the groundwork for a successful wellness program:
Attain Leadership Support for Wellness
Currently Participating Employees
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Ideally everyone from your CEO to your managers would support your program and encourage participation. Good ideas and enthusiasm are great but without leadership support for wellness the program won't get very far. Their support should be as visible to the employees as possible. This will increase participation and ensure the sustainability of your program.
Start a Wellness Committee
This will include people from throughout the organization at various levels and will help give you a good representation of ideas and thoughts. It also gives employees ownership of the program and provides the organization with automatic cheerleaders. It's best to include more than those who are "already healthy". Committees also help take some pressure off the HR professional who often are assigned the task of organizing wellness programs.
Create a Culture of Wellness
This means something a little different to each organization, however even if your efforts seem minor, something is better than nothing. A culture shift takes time and can be met with resistance at various points. This shouldn't stop your efforts. The workplace should possess the environment, attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge that are necessary for each employee to live a healthy lifestyle. If they're expected to lead healthy lifestyles at home on their own time, they should be given reasonable choices to be healthy while at work too. Policy changes can often make a large impact in this area of workplace wellness. Utilize those on the wellness committee or collect a sampling of opinions from your workforce and see what separates them from a healthier lifestyle. Some issues your workplace may not be able to address but focus on what is within your control.
Some things that may get you started thinking in this direction:
- Vending Machine Options
- Stretching/Exercise Breaks
- Ergonomics of Work Area
- Smoking Policy on Campus
- Accessibility to Quality Drinking Water
- Food Options at Company sponsored breakfasts/lunches/dinners