What is a wellness initiative?

What is a wellness initiative?

Happy and healthy employees are more engaged, efficient and productive. If they are thriving in their personal life, they will be more likely to thrive in their professional life. But the buck does not stop with the employee.

The workplace also needs be an environment that supports the health and wellness of its employees. The benefits of having energised people who are taking care of their wellbeing at home will be thwarted if this is not nurtured in the workplace.

Meaningful workplace initiatives that are implemented, actioned and monitored will cultivate a healthy and positive workplace culture.

Wellness initiatives in the workplace should be designed to 1) empower employees to be responsible for their own wellness; and 2) showcase what the company is prepared to do to support the achievement and sustainability of wellness within the workplace.

So when does a workplace call for a wellness initiative and how does one go about implementing one?

A Manager may try to minimise the level of stress in the workplace. Understanding that things like exercise, nutrition, sleep and our work environment are extremely important when it comes to combating workplace related stress is the first step. But how do you go about implementing appropriate procedures and activities to support these principles that employees will embrace?

A wellness initiative may be a small thing, such as decorating workspaces with plants and adding colour, or re-arranging the office to maximise airflow and light, all known to reduce stress.  It may be the introduction of more nutritious food options at the canteen, or the promotion of walking meetings to get the staff outdoors and encourage more movement.

A wellness initiative may also be more in-depth. Perhaps a communications plan, including an online wellness program that included the development of mindfulness could be developed to support mindful relationships and communication during high pressure times, to encourage team members to help each other respond in a more positive manner to stressful situations.

It may involve integrating strategies, tools and techniques to build resilience and mindfulness, into the employee induction and training program.

As Judd Allen stated in his book Wellness Leadership, “Organisational leaders play an important role in fostering a healthy workplace culture that supports the health and wellbeing of employees”. Your designated wellness leader can work with you to determine the needs of your employees and create a framework for a wellness initiative that suits the needs of your people and the goals and objectives of the organisation.

Projects like the initiatives covered above are all covered in the Diploma of Wellness Leadership Program – An accredited blended online training and mentoring program that provides the framework, system, toolkit and professional network for people managers, health and wellness coaches and consultants to:

  • Cultivate a healthy culture in the workplace;
  • Build resilient teams that thrive with creativity and innovation;
  • Develop effective health and wellbeing programs that add to the value proposition of organisations.

If this sounds like you, or somebody that works with you, contact me on angela@aswa.net.au to discuss your unique needs or to register for the upcoming intake.

Angela Derks, ND is the Founder and CEO of the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy (ASWA) - the award winning accredited leader of wellness training and consulting services for organisations. Her life’s work is helping people achieve optimal health, wellbeing and business success through skills-based learning and healthy leadership strategies. She is the lead developer of the nationally recognised 10299NAT Diploma of Wellness Leadership qualification, delivering relevant skills to effectively integrate evidence-based wellness and management practices into organisations. The ASWA Wellness Solutions Team delivers an integrative approach for individuals, organisations and communities.

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