Over the past decade, businesses large and small have implemented employee wellness programs in the hopes of not only creating happier, healthier, and more productive staff, but also with the aim of retaining top talent and reducing health care costs. The good news is that the benefits of an effective program are proven; in a study referenced by a report from the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, companies that successfully engage employees in wellness can expect up to a $6 reduction in costs for every $1 invested in employee health. The bad news is that creating an impactful health initiative in your company isn’t as easy signing your team up for a 5K or adding a salad bar in the cafeteria. How can you develop a healthy office culture?
1. By the People, For the People
It makes perfect sense that creating a successful healthy office culture involves input by the very people for whom the program is designed. Rather than imposing a generic workplace health promotion on employees, foster genuine engagement by letting the staff own the initiative. It helps if they understand how both they and the company can benefit from the improvements, and if they feel they carry a meaningful voice in how it’s operated. By conducting surveys or focus groups to determine what is important to employees, companies can save a lot of time, money and frustration in the long run and inspire staff to develop a meaningful collaboration.
2. Leading by Example
Creating a culture of health in the office requires persuasive and passionate leadership, which includes everyone from the top down. Employees can’t be expected to actively participate in wellness programs that the officers and executives in the company don’t see value in utilizing, and the program’s success also depends on the availability of support at every level in the organization. The most promising initiatives for establishing a healthy office environment are even integrated into the company’s overall mission, values and purpose. What does your company’s mission statement say about the value of health?
3. Whole Health Hype
A healthy office culture is developed with intention, and a program that truly serves its staff considers that health isn’t just about quitting smoking or eating more broccoli. When it comes to wellness, organizers need to take a comprehensive, whole health approach. Beyond physical fitness, the mental, emotional, social, and even financial needs of the employees need to be supported. With the inclusion of offers like flexible work schedules, social support, enforcement of health-promoting policies, and the establishment of a healthy physical environment including modular and ergonomic furnishings, businesses can attend to the “total health” of their employees, creating a win-win program that is both all-encompassing and efficient.
4. Spread the Word
Strategic communication with employees leads to greater engagement in health enhancing programs in two ways. First, clear messages communicate exactly what the program entails, how it can work for the employee, how they’ll benefit, and how they might get started. Second, tailoring the messages to the target audience frequently, with varied content, and with multiple channels keeps the information current and relevant.
5. Gauging Progress
Evaluating the effectiveness of your company’s wellness program is critical for gauging its effectiveness and for maintaining accountability, but it’s important to assess correctly. At the start of the program, collect baseline date that can be used to monitor both progress and satisfaction over time. Smart collection and analysis of both the benefits of a program and areas for improvement can help further establish a healthy office culture with a lasting impact.
Working on Implementing Wellness
At Beaux Arts Group, we do more than sell furniture.
We understand space, and our professionals are able to create fluid areas that not only meet the needs of a workplace today, but that also consider the goals for tomorrow. Contact us today to learn how we will maintain the design integrity of your business’ philosophies and priorities through your furnishings!