Creating a culture of health at your organization is no longer a theoretical or optional benefit. As the workplace continues to evolve and employers struggle to find and retain talent, employees place a higher value on workplace culture than ever before. While there are many ways to go about improving workplace culture, creating a culture of health and wellness—encouraging healthy habits and lifestyles—is a critical program to empower and support employees.
A culture of health begins with an organization-wide dedication to supporting physical and psychological well-being and encourages employees to make healthier choices now and for years to come. It must embrace a diversity of customs, beliefs, and values while providing resources to transform how employees think about health and wellness.
How to Create a Culture of Health
Implementing a wellness-centered program and incorporating a culture of health into your company can be daunting.
Here are three steps to help you start your path to creating a sustainable employee wellness program.
1. Establish baselines
As with any new health and wellness program, it’s vital to know your starting point. A comprehensive Health Risk Assessment (HRA), such as Wellcomplete®, provides insights into your employees' physical and psychological wellness baseline. Knowing that baseline allows employers to create targeted programs to support employees' needs and track progress—and program efficacy—over time.
2. Support a healthy work-life balance
Work-life balance has become a keyword in the workplace, but it’s more than just allowing employees to work from home. Supporting a healthy work-life balance includes listening to employee needs, offering various flexible scheduling options, and encouraging employees to disengage from work during non-work hours. Employees who are encouraged to disconnect outside working hours have increased productivity when in the office.
Allowing the flexibility to be present for family events, personal commitments, or to attend regular medical appointments has many benefits. It can ease employee stress, reduce sick calls, increase employee dedication, and demonstrates to employees that the employer cares about them as a person, not just the work they do.
3. Offer meaningful incentives
Turning aspects of your wellness program into a fun competition with meaningful rewards or incentives for success can increase employee participation. From discounts on healthcare premiums to gift cards, prizes are a great motivator. Provide pedometers to staff and have step-goals for individuals or teams; build a team to participate in community events such as the American Heart Association Heart Walk or the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. Supporting causes like these have several benefits, including fostering employee comradery and additional visibility for your organization in the community. Including your employees when deciding which rewards and incentives would be most meaningful to them will further increase interest and engagement in your health and wellness programs.
A long-term investment with substantial returns
Creating a culture of health and implementing a thoughtful wellness program isn’t a quick, one-time project—it’s a long-term investment built from dedication and consistency over time. From gathering insightful wellness baseline data from your HRA to providing education, tools, and meaningful incentives, supporting your employees in their health and wellness journey can change their lives and yield significant ROI for your organization.
Download our recent guide, “Creating a Culture of Health: Give Employee Wellness the Attention it Deserves” to explore more ways to increase your company’s ROI on wellness.