October is Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month. While every month should be dedicated to employee well-being, this is an ideal time to revisit what can be done to implement or maintain strategies that sustain a healthy workplace. To commemorate the occasion, let’s review four of the best practices for creating a healthy workplace that sustainably improves employees’ well-being.
1. Build a Positive Workplace Culture
Creating a healthy workplace starts with company culture. Ensure this is recognized by promoting a “person first” approach that appreciates how an individual’s experiences, needs, and well-being impact who they are and how they interact in the workplace. A healthy workplace environment improves morale, engagement, productivity, and well-being. Celebrate your employees’ accomplishments, encourage them to succeed, and maintain an open channel of communication, so employees feel safe to voice concerns.
Listening to your employees can also help to guide your wellness initiatives.
- What are employees looking for to support their wellness in the workplace?
- Is employee health impacting motivation and engagement?
- Is there a population of employees who may be at higher risk for neglected health (e.g., caregivers, working parents, front line workers)?
Once you have an idea of your employees’ needs, you can develop strategies and programs that best support your people.
2. Think Holistically
In previous years, workplace wellness programs often consisted of short-term initiatives focused on physical health (diet, exercise, etc.). We now understand that wellness is multifaceted and requires a holistic approach that encompasses physical, mental, and financial health.
It’s also important to remember that each individual in your organization is at a different place in their health journey. They all have unique and diverse goals and have different levels of motivation and confidence that will allow them to meet their goals. Thinking holistically allows you to consider the diversity of your organization and presents a greater chance of providing your people with the tools and resources they need to improve their health.
3. Leverage the Science
At this point, you understand what your people are looking for and recognize the importance of a holistic approach. Now how do you develop a strategy that will actually work and improve the well-being of your people? To create a healthy workplace, you must create conditions where your people can improve their health behaviours. Numerous behaviour change models are proven to succeed, and when combined together, present the best conditions for success.
- Wellness programs are not one-size-fits-all; wellness initiatives should be personalized with tailored action plans and messaging
- People are motivated by rewards; offer incentives to drive participation and improve motivation
- Drive engagement through online and offline initiatives
- Measure results to guide program development
4. Invest in a Wellness Program
There are many small steps you can take toward creating a healthy workplace, but to truly achieve a healthy workplace that sustainably improves employee well-being, the recommended approach is to invest in a digital wellness program. Wellness programs are based on science and cater to the individual while also cultivating a sense of community through digital connection. Digital programs give employers access to real-time analytics with aggregated data to see improvements in health behaviours and track employee engagement and satisfaction.
Any step you take toward creating a healthy workplace is a valuable one, but in doing so, consider how you can pursue this important cause beyond the month of October and for years to come. Contact our team to discover how BestLifeRewarded Innovations can support your organization with its customizable wellness program.