Is organizational wellness the new flavor of the month?
If you ask me, the answer is a simple and an emphatic, “No.” It can’t be. If it were, organizations and businesses would lose the capacity to sustain themselves. Organizational wellness shouldn’t be considered a fad, or something you can just do for a little while. It should always be a priority, especially to businesses.
Why? Here are 3 big reasons.
People are an organization’s biggest asset.
What comes to mind when you think about success for an organization? Is it year-end revenue? A revolutionary product? The ability to give back to the community? Yes, those are all important and valuable outcomes. But at the end of the day, no matter what advanced technology was used to produce those achievements, behind that technology were human beings. Real people. People with health needs. People with life stressors. People who want to be healthy, enjoy time family, pursue hobbies and passions and be valued as employees. Organizations that embrace those needs, that encourage health and wellness, are more likely to realize positive results in their bottom line.
When people have an opportunity to be well, it shows in their work.
For me, life gets easier when I look through a lens that sees people doing the best they can with what they have. But what I have come to realize is that sometimes as a manager, I can look for opportunities to change the workplace environment, whether through physical adaptations or through wellness offers to nurture emotional, physical and mental health. Things like healthy snacks, breaks during the day, plenty of water on had. Unexpected perks, positive words, recognition, encouragement.
Yet even with these types of changes in the work environment, individuals don’t magically get well and become high performers. Wellness is far too complex for that to occur. But what it does mean is that I have done my part in creating a foundation that supports and sustains wellness, and by doing so, I have created an environment that supports and sustains its people.
When an organization shifts the weight of its attention from being focused on the latest technology to caring about the people using it, the final product, revenue, sales, or whatever your goal is, becomes a by-product. Where do you want to invest your resources? In people or products? If you care about your product, you’ll invest in people every time.
Wellness can’t exist at only one level of an organization.
Wellness is for everyone. It doesn’t differentiate between salary range, job classification, or degrees hanging on the wall. When organizations commit to opening the door (and keeping it open) to wellness for everyone, something powerful happens. Barriers are broken down. Its people work toward wellness together. It becomes part of the company culture and not just a fleeting fad.
Does your organization practice wellness? It’s never too late to start, or improve upon what you have. Here are 3 simple steps to get going.
1. Find your “wellness” champions.
Look high and low. Find people in different departments, with different backgrounds. When you truly step back and see who’s on board, you will get an idea of how to engage them to help build and sustain a culture of wellness.
2. Make wellness a regular conversation.
This isn’t something that should be talked about once a quarter. When we talk about infiltrating culture, it means wellness should be a daily, weekly, monthly conversation.
3. Make wellness relevant.
Get to know your organization: the people, the mission, the products. Dig deep and ask lots of questions. This information provides insights to what’s important and what people value. One of the most powerful small wins you can have is aligning wellness with this information.
Wellness isn’t just for the C-suite. It can’t just live as another thing human resources should take care of. It can’t just be a “flavor of the month.” Wellness is obtainable for every organization, no matter size or structure. Sometimes it means getting creative or gaining a clear understanding of the strengths and resources hiding within your organization, but it is something each and every organization deserves, because the people doing the work deserve it.
If you’re unsure of where to start or need some ideas on how to start a culture of wellness in your organization, please get in touch with me and I would be happy to talk with you.