“Wellness at work is the right to work in a manner that is healthy, motivating, and edifying. Everyone—workers, managers, and business owners—should endeavor to work in a way that improves our own wellness and the wellbeing of others.”- The Future of Wellness at Work, a 2016 report by the Global Wellness Institute
Work can feel like glorified drudgery. Yet when empowered by a person’s whole being, work can be a source of fulfillment, creativity, effectiveness, and joy.
Think about it for yourself. Does your work feel soul-sucking, or does it make you feel more alive?
I believe everything about work—relationships between people, your company culture, the built environment, the act of working itself—has the potential to awaken human vitality, positivity, and growth. That’s good news because tapping into this potential is crucial to your organization’s success. The ever-changing nature of work today requires sustained high levels of motivation, energy, and creativity. Consequently, a focus on wellness can be one of the wisest commitments you as leader makes to inspire people to bring physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing to their jobs every day.
No matter your company’s size or scale, a smart question to ask is: “How can we create the conditions where everyone can bring their best selves to work AND leave work more capable and well than when they came?” Wellbeing is not an issue to pigeonhole into a human resources department; it is the central challenge of effective leadership across your organization.
But Where Do You Begin?
Nowadays, workplace wellness is a substantial market worth over $40 billion, and it’s growing globally. Most forward-thinking organizations have some sort of health and wellness program to address their workforce needs. Yet, many of these programs fail to transform the reactive, life-depleting organizational systems within which people are expected to achieve higher and higher goals. These programs fail to elevate the organization’s consciousness, capabilities, and culture for authentic wellbeing. As a result, they miss the mark entirely.
Genuinely building a culture of care and wellbeing is a significant undertaking. For some organizations, it means total overhaul. The Wellness at Work initiative (one of 23 industry-wide efforts sponsored by the Global Wellness Institute) recently published three tools to assist leaders, like you, who are ready to commit to this journey.
- A Wellness at Work Briefing Paper, outlining the challenges and opportunities of workplace wellness, as well as companies that stand out as wellbeing leaders.
- Wellness at Work—The Future Looks Bright, an engaging, at-a-glance infographic about the history of wellness at work, the building blocks of a culture of wellbeing, and the payoffs organizations have reaped from their wellness at work investments.
- 15 Questions for Building a Culture of Wellbeing and Care, an intentional inquiry into where your work culture stands today, plus how well your leadership, talent development, and current wellness strategies promote a culture of wellbeing in your organization.
As leader, one of your greatest challenges is to use everything about work to unleash the untapped potential of people for wellbeing, creativity, productivity, learning, and growth—the essentials to making a positive impact inside and outside your company. I hope these tools accelerate and amplify your wellbeing leadership journey.
P.S. Big Thanks!
A huge kudos to Mim Senft, CEO at Motivity Partnerships and Michelle Hocking Railton, Health & Performance Manager at Google for helping drive the development of these tools, and to the entire Wellness at Work initiative team for their expert contributions. When it comes to empowering wellness at and through workplaces worldwide, we can accomplish infinitely more together than we can alone.
Interesting in learning more? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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