The Evolution of Workplace Wellness

Today’s work environment is evolving. Organizations of all types are adopting new ways to attract and retain talent.  Employers are providing their staff with new ways to do their jobs, constructing different workspaces, and thinking differently about their workforce. As organizations adapt the way they work, they also may want to adapt the way they think about their wellness programs.

In the past year, the wellness industry embraced this change as the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) updated their classic seven benchmarks. This new generation of benchmarks made it explicit that holistic wellness, not just physical fitness and nutrition, is the cornerstone of modern wellness. This shift requires wellness professionals to address the whole person and not just data.

Organizational wellness professionals are currently evolving their programs to meet this challenge. Many new wellness programs are looking at more than the traditional physical activity and nutrition components, by adding those holistic elements such as financial wellness, health care consumerism, mental health and social determinants. The idea is to offer a wide range of opportunities to engage employees at a level that fits their needs and your organizational culture.

Wellness in Action

It’s important for an organization to be honest when addressing their culture of well-being. When reviewing programming, factors such as the mission and vision of their wellness program should balance with the goals of the organization. The best wellness programs don’t just create initiatives, they address workplace culture. Making sure that the policies and decisions of the organization allow your employees the ability to fulfill your wellness mission is the foundation of a great program.

A good example of this approach being put into action was a recent initiative from the American Bar Association. The legal community looked at their shared challenges and formed a working group to design a campaign which encouraged better overall health and wellness in their industry. The group looked at challenges in their industry and created a campaign to enhance the health of their members by changing cultural expectations and being supportive of good decisions.

As the world of wellness evolves with today’s work environment, organizations would be well-served by reviewing their wellness programming. Employees have a more holistic expectation of employer wellness and enhancing your programs can help you meet your goals for attracting and retaining talent.  This review should include looking at your benefits and your wellness programs to make sure that they fit your goals.

Takeaways

The good news is that to evolve in this time of change, you have resources to help you.  Wellness professionals, insurance partners and your human resources teams are ready to help you act holistically to enhance your culture of wellness. Working with your resources can help you to ensure that your wellness program matches your organizational culture.

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Tyler Stuntebeck is a Wellness Consultant for M3 Insurance.  He partners with organizations to help design and implement wellness programs that fit their unique culture. 

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