What You Can Do Now
There are steps you can take to help your workplace become healthier. By starting now you can create the necessary foundation to a successful employee wellness program:
Look at your work environment
Pay attention to what's around you. The landscape of your workplace can make a huge difference. And try keeping the following in mind:
- 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
- Bike racks to encourage biking to work
Get leadership to back you
Ideally everyone from your CEO to your managers would support your program and encourage participation.
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.
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.