Culture is important in the workplace. It affects everything employee contract recruitment and retention. There is also growing evidence that workplace culture has a significant impact on employee health.
That’s why employers are increasingly asking not whether they should invest in a healthy workplace culture, but what it means and how best to achieve it.
Related: How to Create a Healthier Work Environment
As defined by the Health Improvement Research Organization (HERO) Healthy Culture Committee, a healthy workplace culture is “intentionally designed with elements that promote health and well-being.” This is the what. As for the how, the committee identified 24 items found in healthy work cultures. Then, through a series of case studies highlighting employers known for their culture of workplace health practices, they identified some of the elements that were most consistently adopted by participating employers.
Creating a corporate culture is all about finding the right mix and applying strategies that fit your environment and your workforce. It will look a little different in every workplace, but if you want to get off to a good start, the following five tips provide a solid foundation for building an effective health culture.
1. Get your message across
Developing a culture of health requires an ongoing dialogue about health and wellness and its value to both the individual and the organization. Regular, formal communication demonstrates an organization’s commitment to the health of its workforce and emphasizes the importance of health and well-being as an organizational value. Use a variety of communication channels to ensure everyone gets the message. For example, email may not be the best way to reach employees who don’t regularly work in front of a computer. It’s also important to give employees a chance to have their say. Focus groups and testimonials can be an effective part of a multimodal strategy.
2. Appeal to management
Leaders who embrace wellness through their decision making, resource allocation, and example of a healthy lifestyle send a clear message to employees that health and wellness is an essential component of the workplace. ‘business. In other words, when leaders make healthy choices a priority, employees are more likely follow the movement. Make sure you have leadership buy-in at all levels, whether it’s encouraging managers to support participation in wellness activities during the workday or asking the CEO to organize events in the office. Leaders can also appear in videos that promote healthy activities, talk about wellness in corporate communication channels, or contribute personal stories to documents shared with employees.
3. Give back
Many companies studied have healthy cultures that include volunteer opportunities. Giving back to the community through regular volunteering and supporting charitable causes allows employees to see that they can make a positive difference beyond the workplace. Start by supporting your local community with donations and encouraging employees to participate in volunteer programs and community building efforts.
4. Formalize your efforts
It’s one thing to say you support employee health and well-being; it’s quite another to back that commitment up with formal policies and procedures that foster an environment that encourages wellness. When these policies are lacking, it suggests a lack of support for wellness initiatives and may encourage employees to disengage. Consider formalizing your commitment through policies such as creating smoke-free campuses, offering paid time off for volunteering, or eliminating donuts from work meetings in favor of healthier options. If these policies don’t make sense for your office, find something that does.
5. Consider your physical environment
Encouraging employees to cycle to work loses some of its meaning when there is no secure bike parking at the office and no place for employees to shower afterwards. a sweaty ride. A physical environment that is conducive to well-being makes it easier for employees to make healthy choices. Consider increasing the availability of healthy foods, creating safe places for employees to hang out during the day, or promoting stress management and relaxation.
Culture exists in the workplace whether or not it is cultivated by leaders within the organization. The choice employers have to make is whether they want to let this culture evolve on its own or whether they choose to develop a thoughtful strategy that shapes the workplace culture into something that supports their business goals more wide. By leveraging these key elements, employers can create and maintain a healthy work culture that benefits everyone.
Roshi Fisher is Vice President and Senior Consultant at Lockton. Jennifer Posa is a global leader of employee mental well-being and workplace effectiveness at Johnson & Johnson. Dyan Matson Koffman is a health scientist Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention.
the Health Improvement Research Organization (HERO) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and sharing best practices in the field of occupational health and well-being (OHS). HERO was established over 20 years ago to create and deliver research, policy, leadership and strategy to advance HWBs in the workplace, providing leadership to the national workforce. Much of the good work done by HERO is accomplished through the efforts of its volunteer committees. To learn more, please see the report “Five important elements for building a culture of health: what, why and how?”