We have all heard of workplace wellness. There’s also a good chance your employer has a wellness program. We hear a lot of talk about wellness, but let’s be honest—do any of us know what it means to have a great wellness program? It’s easy to set up biometric screenings for employees or hand out pamphlets on healthy eating habits and check that “wellness program” box, but are those things truly helping employees be healthy, productive and—most of all—happy?
I’d like to challenge workplaces and my fellow Physiotherapy wellness experts to move away from the traditional “one-size-fits-all” wellness offerings and shift to an all-encompassing focus on personalised wellbeing.
Recently, in a Forbes article titled “8 Trends That Will Impact Worksite Wellness in 2018,” corporate wellness and employee wellbeing expert Alan Kohll identifies this growing trend in personalized offerings. According to Kohll, “Wellness isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Wellness initiatives that are important to one employee might not be as important to another.”
Wellness is no longer a “nice to have” job perk—it’s an essential tool for attracting and retaining top talent. We’re seeing more employees, especially younger generations, expecting wellness to be a standard part of an employer’s benefit offerings. One survey of 2,000 U.S. workers featured recently in the Harvard Business Review showed that respondents would choose a lower paying job if it offers better benefits—health, dental and vision insurance, plus other benefits like flexibility and work-life balance.
Many of today’s wellness programs that only focus on weight loss or quit smoking programs miss the mark when it comes to making employees truly happier at work and in life. For this reason, wellbeing is a better approach to maintaining and improving the overall health of employees and our communities.
Wellbeing goes far beyond physical fitness to include areas like mental health, financial health, and even environmental and social health. It focuses on the whole person and impacts every area of life. After all, overall health and happiness is about so much more than just numbers on a scale. Employee assistance programs aim to cover these vital areas.
It’s important to me that The Office Athlete’s wellbeing philosophy applies to more than just our wonderful clients we work with every year.
If we want to succeed in encouraging our employees to be healthy, more productive and, most importantly, happy at work—we have to embrace the wellbeing model of workplace programming. So let’s move beyond the traditional methods to ensure our employees and communities have not just their physical health taken care of, but their overall wellbeing, too.