Every organization aspires to have an energized, mindful, resilient and engaged workforce.
Every employee wants to feel more energized, stronger and vibrant.
We all understand it and believe in it, and most organisations are trying to do it but, as research shows, with very mixed success (http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/institute-for-health-and-productivity-studies/ihps-blog/do-workplace-wellness-programs-work-yes-but-it-depends).
So how do make wellness a true reality?
· Make the ‘why’ visible: Wellness is assumed to be such a good thing that it is often forgotten to articulate why. As with any change, getting crystal clear on why you want something is a key determinant of success. Allow it to be deeply personal, make it that way and you’re onto a winner. Get clear on the ‘wellness why’ of the organization whilst supporting people to wholeheartedly connect with their individual ‘wellness why’. Combined, this translates into potent fuel for every day action.
· Embrace uniqueness Whether it’s in the skills and talents they offer the firm or what makes them feel at their best, we really are all staggeringly unique. This similarly applies to organisations, since no two look the same or operate in the same way. So, as well intentioned as they can be, wellness initiatives that encourage an individual to fit into a way of moving, eating or resting that doesn’t feel right for them are destined not to work. Organisations that help their employees find their own way to wellness, whilst aligning with the individual culture and needs of the organization, are one step ahead of the curve.
· Promote self-discovery: Find ways to facilitate the journey of self-discovery for employees so that they know themselves enough to articulate their wellness why, build their own wellness plan and further their personal commitment to taking action.
· Create daily space: Lasting change takes laser like focus, discipline and consistency to develop sustainable habits. That doesn’t mean dropping everything else, but it does mean creating dedicated time and space for wellness. Create an environment supportive of small, daily action. Let small pockets of time be available every day for wellness. Create the container - simple options like meditation, walking or stretching - and empower people choose how they use it.
· Illustrate commitment: find ways to enable leaders illustrate their genuine and unwavering commitment to wellness. Let them get personal with their own ‘wellness why’ and share it openly. Make their wellness plans visible and commit to working side by side their teams as they put them into practice. Create a culture that screams, ‘we’re all in this together’.
· Make it your culture: Research into corporate wellness shows that “embracing a culture of wellbeing rather than offering isolated health promotion initiatives” is one of the biggest factors driving their success (http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/institute-for-health-and-productivity-studies/ihps-blog/do-workplace-wellness-programs-work-yes-but-it-depends). Wellness should be integrated into everything in the organization and seen as being as important as sales and marketing or product development (http://fortune.com/2015/04/13/corporate-wellness/)
Done well, corporate and employee wellness is a long-term strategy that has the potential to change individuals and firms forever.