Updated: Jun 13, 2019
At The HR Source, we often talk about the significance of mindfully establishing a positive workplace culture. The importance of a strong company culture cannot be overstated; it’s the best way to cultivate an atmosphere in which employees delight in their work and companies prosper. However, we usually talk about this as it relates to motivation and diversity but creating a culture of health is every bit as essential too.
What’s a Culture of Health?
When something becomes part of your organization’s culture, it means the people value it and prioritize it and that the company’s decisions reflect the same values as well. Health should be thought of in two components—emotional wellbeing and physical health.
Why Do I Need a Culture of Health?
If you’re only focused on the bottom line, this is a no-brainer. Employees who don’t feel their best are not as productive and can cost the company money through inefficiency, missed opportunities, and diminished morale. They tend to have more sick days and more missed time from work too.
Ideally, however, employers should be addressing it from a humanistic standpoint. If you want a world-class organization, you must treat your employees well and give them the tools they need to be happy and productive. You want to be the organization that employees cannot fathom leaving. You want people to feel energized by their work and love coming in every day. In this sense, cultivating a culture of health is a must too.
How Do I Create a Culture of Health?
In short, you want to ensure employees have the resources they need to get healthy and stay healthy. Create programs which make it easier to engage in healthy activities and remove barriers which might stand in the way of employees who want healthier lives. A few ideas are highlighted below. You can apply them in your organization or use it as inspiration to create a customized culture of health.
1. Get management buy-in. Your leaders will make or break your programs. It’s important that they learn why changes are occurring and what the benefits are, so they can provide adequate support.
2. Create wellness programs. Make sure employees have access to healthcare, fitness, and mental health services.
3. Teach people how to leverage resources and follow through to ensure they’re being utilized. Even something as simple as working through lunch can be damaging. Insist on breaks, vacations, and time away from work. Monitor workloads and offer opportunities to recharge throughout the day.
4. Cultivate a healthy office environment. Make sure your team has comfortable workspaces and consider adding features like air purifiers, plants, and soothing color schemes.
5. Find health champions and create rewards. Incentivize those who go above and beyond to promote a culture of health.
6. Promote your programs at every stage. From initial trainings through team meetings, make wellness a priority.
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