Workplace Wellness

Beyond the Wellness Program: Creating a Culture of Wellness at Work

Written by Kate

Given that the average adult worker spends 90,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime, employee health and well-being is an essential part of both the employee experience and organizational success. As such, it comes to no surprise that in today’s dynamic competitive business landscape, organizations have increasingly turned to wellness programs as tools to attract and retain top talent.

However, the question remains: do wellness programs actually work? This is a valid concern, as companies grapple with the daunting task of searching through dozens of wellness program offerings to find out which one is right for their diverse workforce. As companies continue to manage distributed teams, are wellness programs sufficient to support the well-being of their employees?

Whether you are new to wellness programs or your company has been using one for some time, you’ll know that making an impact on employee wellness extends beyond just having the wellness program. One glaring challenge remains: when employees are so busy, how can you make sure they stay engaged to reap the full rewards of your wellness offerings? 

Fostering a culture of wellness is a great place to start.

How to Create a Culture of Wellness at Work

Creating a culture of wellness goes beyond superficial perks—it’s about nurturing principles, beliefs, and a way of work that will guide organizations and their teams to success regardless of where they are distributed.

The benefits are clear: fostering a culture of wellness not only attracts and retains top talent, but also promotes employee engagement, satisfaction, and overall well-being. In this blog post, we dive into why and how a company should foster a culture of wellness beyond the confines of a traditional wellness program.

1. Clearly Define Core Values

Social wellness is a core pillar of overall employee well-being. At the heart of a wellness-based work culture lies a set of clearly defined core values that supports the social wellness of the workplace. These values serve as the compass that directs decision-making, behaviors, and relationships within the organization. Engaging employees in conversations about these values ensures alignment with the company’s mission and fosters a sense of ownership and belonging. Regular revisiting of these values reinforces their importance and keeps employees engaged.

2. Lead by Example

Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping the culture of an organization. Leaders must embody and demonstrate the core values through their actions and decisions, setting the tone for the entire company. When leaders lead by example, it fosters trust, transparency, and accountability, encouraging employees to emulate these values in their own work.

3. Prioritize Employee Well-Being

A value-based work culture prioritizes the well-being of its employees in all aspects—physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual. Implementing comprehensive wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, and mental health support services demonstrates a genuine concern for employees’ holistic well-being. By fostering a healthy work-life balance, organizations reinforce values like compassion and empathy while boosting productivity and creativity.

4. Encourage Open Communication

Effective communication is vital for building and sustaining a wellness-based work culture. Providing multiple channels for open and honest communication ensures that employees feel heard, valued, and included. Regular feedback sessions and platforms for idea sharing foster a culture of collaboration and innovation. Acknowledging and responding thoughtfully to feedback reinforces the importance of communication and encourages further engagement.

5. Recognize and Reward Values-Based Contributions

Recognizing and rewarding employees who exemplify the organization’s core values reinforces their importance and encourages others to follow suit. Establishing formal recognition programs, such as awards or shout-outs, celebrates individual contributions and strengthens the connection between actions and culture. By acknowledging values-based behavior, organizations inspire employees to uphold the company’s principles and contribute positively to the workplace environment.

Final Thoughts

Building a culture of wellness goes beyond implementing a traditional wellness program—it requires a concerted effort to embed strong values that span multiple areas of well-being into the fabric of the organization.

By clearly defining core values, leading by example, prioritizing employee well-being, encouraging open communication, and recognizing values-based contributions, companies can create a positive and impactful work culture that drives long-term success. Embracing these strategies not only enhances employee engagement and satisfaction but also reinforces the organization’s reputation as a desirable place to work.

Ultimately, investing in a culture of wellness is an investment in the well-being and success of both employees and the organization as a whole. If you’d like to learn more about what kind of wellness program best fits your organization, feel free to schedule a call with one of our Benefits Specialists.

Corporate Wellness Benefit Managers having a discussion while looking at an electronic tablet.

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