The role of managers and leaders in supporting a healthier workplace
Managers and leaders can play an important role in promoting a healthier workplace culture that supports the health and wellbeing of team members. Executives, managers, wellness practitioners and wellness committee members can all join together to promote a healthier workplace culture. Wellness leadership is about making it easier for members of your work group to practice the healthy lifestyles that they actively choose. It is about removing barriers to wellness. As Judd Allen Ph.D and author of Wellness Leadership poignantly states “It is not about telling others how to behave”, but rather about creating the conditions that support people in their quest for greater health and wellness. Most people will agree that they want to work in a place that advocates for their health.
Most managers want to do good by their people and are already working to support the wellbeing of their employees but many don’t know where to start when it comes to leading wellness of their people. Wellness leadership provides employees with the support to nurture their health and wellness goals when they are in the workplace. Management and leadership efforts to promote a supportive environment fall into three broad and overlapping leadership responsibilities:
- Embodying and Communicating the Wellness Vision:
This relates to your understanding of the principles of wellness and then sharing the reason why wellness is important, how people can get personally involved and what the organisation is doing to make it easier for people to achiever healthier lifestyles. This includes role modelling a commitment to wellness through your own behaviour by demonstrating the principles of wellness – purpose, values, resilience, mindfulness, breath, nutrition, movement and sleep.
It is important to note that this does not mean that you have to be a perfect role model at all times, perfectly achieving all aspects of wellness. In fact, to do so could set the benchmark for most of your team as unrealistic and simply not worth the embarrassment to even try to attain. The goal is to demonstrate that you value your own wellness and that you will value their quest for health and wellness. Your actions speak volumes and will inspire others.
- Integrate the Principles of Wellness into the Organisation
This relates to your efforts to eliminate barriers to wellness. This can be achieved through the review and adjustment of the physical environment, cultural norms and organisational policies and procedures to support wellness. The culture makes cigarettes, junk food and televisions possible or alternatively, the cultures can also make walking paths, walking meetings, green building construction, regular movement breaks, mindful workplace relationships, health foods and ergonomic work stations possible. Cultural forces interpret organisational policies and procedures and heavily influence whether they work as they were initially intended or not. A common example of this is that the written policy is to have an hour long lunch break however, the cultural norm may actually be to work through lunch. As a manager within the organisation who understands the needs of your team members and the cultural norms, you have incredible influence to be a powerful catalyst for collaborations, creativity and innovations that serve as an excellent foundation for being known as one of the best places to work.
- Forge Sustainability through Training, Mentoring and Continuous Improvement Processes
Training, feedback and positive reinforcement are important factors in supporting wellness. Your efforts to track wellness so that collective and individual progress can be recognised will further reinforce a wellness culture and strengthen your winning team. When individuals are thriving then organisations are more likely to thrive with greater engagement, performance and retention of talented team members.
These wellness leadership skills, when combined with your practical experience, inspiration and innovative resourcefulness, will play a supportive and powerful role in creating a healthier workplace culture.
When a business embodies health and vitality from within its core culture, this adds value to the customer experience and builds a stronger relationship between the customer and the brand, particularly when the business brand is associated with health and wellbeing.
Healthier lifestyles also deliver vitality, the ability to focus and the capacity to achieve our full potential. Productivity and morale gains make a ‘well workplace’ culture a primary business objective that is attainable with an effective framework, training, tools and support.
The Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy’s Holistic Corporate Wellness Programs have been specifically developed to kickstart and infuse wellness from within organisations. To create healthier, happier workplaces by establishing strong frameworks and providing the tools and support for employees to make healthy lifestyle practices commonplace.
Wellness and Leadership Training Programs
At the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy we’re not just an academy delivering accredited wellness training, we’re a movement to create healthier and happier individuals, workplaces and communities.
Our flexible, effective and scalable wellness training and development programs empower individuals, professionals, organisations and communities to lead healthier, happier lives with purpose, engagement and optimum performance.