How Corporate Wellness Programs Foster Cultural Change in the Workplace
The challenging job market of 2023 has organizations focusing more than ever on hiring and retention strategies. In an effort to protect their quality of life, employees and prospective employees are prioritizing workplace culture — some even more so than financial compensation. Employers looking to retain and recruit top talent must understand how crucial of a factor a positive workplace culture has become.
Implementing initiatives that engage employees and boost morale is a business investment. Supporting employee well-being reduces turnover, health costs, and absenteeism while improving productivity, working relationships, and company culture. This article expands on how corporate wellness programs foster cultural change in the workplace.
The Impact of Wellness Culture in the Workplace
In this post:
1. Encourages Healthy Mindsets
a. Physical & Nutritional Health
2. Creates Opportunities for Colleagues to Form Connections
3. Focuses on Stress Management
Encourages Healthy Mindsets
The fast-paced and task-oriented nature of the workplace can be overstimulating. Successfully developing and maintaining a healthy mindset in the midst of busy schedules and convenient options has to be anticipated and intentional. With so much time spent in the workplace, employees need their leaders to support their efforts.
Leadership can foster a culture of health by investing in a corporate wellness program. Comprehensive wellness programs educate employees and create opportunities to focus on their well-being.
Physical & Nutritional Health
Physical and nutritional health are highly impactful to overall well-being. If you’ve ever made the simple swap for a turkey sandwich filled with veggies and some apple slices instead of a greasy burger and fries — you’ve experienced how nutrition affects energy levels, mood, and even self-confidence.
Corporate wellness programs introduce health education and reinforce it with interactive movement and wellness events. Foundational knowledge such as “Healthy Meal Planning” or “Lifelong Strategies for Healthy Living” is built upon with weekly exercise or movement classes and wellness events like healthy cooking demos. The consistent structure of a wellness program helps employees create routines that enable a healthy mindset to become second nature.
Making lifestyle changes is challenging, but it’s considerably easier and more fun to build healthy habits with the support of colleagues you spend time or share meals with every week. The camaraderie of a workforce pursuing wellness creates accountability and momentum in an environment that can otherwise feel isolating. Colleagues participating in a culture of health together understand the effort involved in prioritizing nutrition and physical activity in the face of time crunches and deadlines.
Mental & Emotional Health
Employees can’t develop or maintain a healthy mindset if their mental or emotional health is suffering. More often than not, managers can spot an employee that hasn’t slept well, or returned to work too soon after a traumatic event because of its effect on their ability to focus and produce.
The educational element of corporate wellness programs isn’t limited to physical or nutritional health. They approach well-being comprehensively by focusing on the eight pillars of well-being. This includes educating on topics like mental health, stress management, and sleep. Health talks teach employees to be cognizant of the mental health conversation at large and create opportunities to share personal experiences, eliminating any sense of shame surrounding these issues. This type of healthy communication in the workplace fosters an electric, collaborative energy.
Wellness programs offer initiatives such as weekly yoga and mindfulness meditation to help employees manage stress, develop emotional resilience, and improve focus. Organizations that prioritize employee well-being initiatives simultaneously build a more authentic, happier company culture.
Creates Opportunities for Colleagues to Form Connections
Employees’ social well-being largely impacts workplace culture. Introducing wellness program initiatives creates opportunities for employees to connect on activities other than work, such as:
Playing a sport
Creating a neutral space for employees to share similar interests forms organic relationships they can carry into the workplace, which is instrumental in daily communication and collaboration. Growing as a workforce requires a team effort. The more employees participate in the wellness program together, the greater their supportive and positive influence on company culture. This also emphasizes to new talent that the organization prioritizes employee well-being.
Organizations can also establish policies and procedures such as eating lunch in designated areas other than one’s desk. This not only maintains a clean space for environmental well-being and ensures employees take a break from their work, it encourages social interactions with colleagues.
Focuses on Stress Management
Leadership and employees inevitably experience stress in the workplace, but they can prevent it from defining the culture. Offering wellness initiatives that teach and implement healthy stress management techniques is vital to a company’s sustainability. Prolonged stress impacts employees’ physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being, which is evidenced by poor production, communication, and attendance.
Organizations can combat a chronically-stressed culture by introducing wellness initiatives that emphasize the mind-body connection, such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, or breathwork. Corporate wellness programs address employee well-being comprehensively, so the educational and fitness-related components also contribute to stress management and a culture that values health.
Strive Corporate Wellness Programs
Strive’s corporate wellness programs are unique in that they’re designed for consistency and sustainability to impact cultural change. Our fully-administered wraparound delivery model and value-adds such as a dedicated program manager and data collection and analysis are geared for growing and evolving employee wellness programs over time.
Strive’s specialty is to provide an excellent wellness experience for employees that is easy on internal administration. Book a discovery call with a wellness expert to explore how Strive can help your organization on their journey to a culture of health.