Wellness is a broad term that can be applied in several different ways. It can mean something a little different to everyone. When hearing the word "wellness," some might immediately think of fitness, while others may think of nutrition or diet. While eating and exercise are two vital factors in wellness, they do not account for all factors attributed to holistic wellness.
Your company is missing an opportunity if your wellness program is only focusing on physical wellbeing. Wellness programs should look at the full continuum of mental, emotional, and physical elements of an employee to improve corporate wellness. An excellent way to do this is by supporting holistic employee wellbeing.
American Holistic Health Association defines holistic health as an approach to life; it considers the whole person and how he/she interacts with his/her environment. It emphasizes the connection of body, mind, and spirit.
Believe it or not, work life plays a big role in holistic wellbeing. Work contributes many potential stressors that can negatively impact employees on a day-to-day basis.
Holistic Wellbeing at Work
Promote a Positive Work Environment
The work environment is a very important aspect when it comes to stress management and promoting company culture. Make sure that your office is set up in an employee-friendly manner that encourages social interaction and creativeness – while still providing some privacy. The atmosphere should be welcoming and friendly so that even new employees feel a sense of belonging.
To check if your work environment is promoting holistic wellness, evaluate your physical work environment. Notice if employees seem as though they are “stuck” in their cubicles all day. If so, encourage more collaborative meetings and maybe reconsider your office space to promote more movement throughout the day.
When evaluating the overall work environment of your office, observe employee interaction. If you don’t see any of your employees genuinely smiling or laughing throughout the day, that is a red flag. Although employees should be focused on their work for a majority of the work day, it is vital to their emotional and mental wellness that they are having some positive interactions throughout the day.
Make sure that open communication is achievable between peers and supervisors. Hold an open-dialogue meeting to determine if employees feel like their voices and ideas are being heard. If employees seem quiet or uneasy about sharing how they feel or what they think of the communication in your office, it might be time to come up with some new communication strategies to create a more positive work environment.
Provide Employees Opportunities for Social Engagement
Socializing does wonders for mental and emotional wellbeing. Provide employees with the opportunity to bond and get to know one another both inside and outside of the office. Building upon work relationships will help positively impact employee wellness.
Try having a breakfast meeting every Friday where employees take turns bringing in their favorite healthy breakfast dishes. Have team happy hours every quarter or team lunch outings. For even healthier options, try a company picnic or host an outdoor activity to bring everyone together.
Offering volunteer opportunities is also a great way to promote social engagement. Volunteering promotes community, friendship, gratitude, and it shows that your company is giving back! Promote any volunteer activities that are currently happening in your community and offer employees PTO or flexible scheduling to attend the volunteer event.
Offer Employees the Resources They Need
The best way to make sure employees have what they need to live a healthy lifestyle? Make sure that your company provides them with the resources they need! Offer employees regular access to health and wellness information.
Keep in mind that holistic wellness includes financial wellness, stress management, mental health, weight management, and spiritual health. Offer employees classes in financials, meditation, cooking, stress management, and time management.
Employees should also have access to any resources they may need for therapy or counseling for themselves and for their family. Knowing that resources are available with employer support will help reinforce a healthy culture and positive lifestyle changes for employees.
Supporting holistic employee wellbeing is essential, and it’s easier than you might think. Keep in mind all the different factors that play into employee wellness, and offer employees the resources they need to succeed at a healthy life – in every aspect!
What are some other ways that employers can support holistic employee wellbeing?
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