Wellness has become a hot topic in the last few years. In the workplace, the topic of Wellness needs to be seen not only against the commercial imperatives of having well and healthy team members and the compliance risks of transgressing relevant legislation, but also in the light of the expectations that employees increasingly have in working for an organization that truly values and cares for them.
The reality is that employees’ expectations go beyond just compliance with legislation. Doing the minimum may keep you out of trouble in the event of an accident, but misses the chance for you to show that you really care about your people and that your Health & Safety program is not about begrudgingly meeting minimum requirements imposed on your business, but is rather a pro-active internal initiative that beds Wellbeing into your culture.
It is about creating a culture of care where there is a strong Wellness value backed by robust policies and actions that resonate for all employees, and demonstrate to them that their employer cares about them in a genuine way.
The backdrop to the Wellness and Wellbeing momentum is the huge challenge we are facing environmentally. We cannot ignore this elephant in the workplace any longer. The people within our organisations are feeling the environmental vibrations and as business leaders we need to listen to what is being said, and be pro-active in creating operational programs that help alleviate these issues that are exerting pressure on our environment.
Are you in the basic Health & Safety space where you simply comply with what the legislation demands?
Are you in the Voluntary Health space, offering programs that include providing access to a broad range of fitness and healthy living programs like assisting workers improve their fitness, reduce/quit smoking, or alcohol intake, and generally improve their personal health?
Are you are in the Organisational Culture space which is about targeting workplace factors that directly impact on the psychological health of workers and may include initiatives related to the way work is organized, flexibility, work content, the quality and meaningfulness of work, the hours, access to training and improvements to a broad range of workplace factors?
Are you looking ahead and seeing that the space that employees and organisations alike are increasingly going to move into will be the Environmental Change space which acknowledges that the welfare of employees is inextricably linked to the health of the planet? Many of our employees are already here, and many more will inevitably get here soon. Initiatives may include educating your staff by bringing in speakers on the positive value of reducing, re-using and recycling plastics, producing Company logoed re-usable cloth bags for staff, customers and suppliers, and for distribution at company PR events, having a zero tolerance program towards littering in the workplace and having volunteer work teams at local beach clean-up events followed by a Company BBQ. Hybrid and Electric Vehicles are also becoming increasingly commercial.
These practical examples illustrate to your people that you care about them, you care about the world that they live in and that as a Company you are going to work with them to do something about it.
Creating a culture of care starts with a stated Wellbeing value that shines through operational initiatives and spans across the Health & Safety, Voluntary, Organisational and also the Environmental touchpoints in your business.
It comes down to creating a culture that engages and resonates with your employees. A culture that meets their expectations in a fast changing world, and a culture which shows them that you really do care.