Employee Wellness means more than just Good Health

Workplace Wellness can lead to higher Employee Engagement An Apple a Day...

Workplace Wellness programs are all the rage these days – and rightly so.

You don't need to be a doctor (or teacher or mechanic or accountant or electrician) to appreciate that healthier employees take fewer sick days and are more productive while at work....which obviously helps the bottom line. Simply put, a fit and healthy workforce makes good business sense.

But true wellness transcends the physical condition alone, and we must be very cognizant of and diligent in our pursuit of nurturing a workplace with less stress, higher emotional well-being, and an overall happier mindset.

Many companies are offering fantastic opportunities to improve physical wellbeing through initiatives such as;

  • on-site physical and medical assessments
  • weight management programs
  • healthy snacks and pot lunches
  • smoking cessation assistance
  • exercise or yoga groups

Indeed many offer incentives such as free (or heavily discounted) wearables, cookbooks, pedometers, water bottles, healthy snacks, etc...

Coupled with technology solutions from companies like Virgin Pulse, Limeade, Welltok, ShapeUp, and more, these programs become more sustainable and embedded into the culture of the organization.

So, let's talk about Organizational Culture for a moment.

If we agree that

  • (a) it "eats strategy for breakfast" (Drucker and others)


  • (b) it is defined (in various outlets) as "The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization"

we start to see the value and magnitude of emotional health and psychosomatic wellness.

Impact of diminished emotional health

A weak workplace culture is rife with employee disengagement, poor workplace relationships, office stress, and staff dysfunction. These are the major cause of inefficiency, conflict, turnover, and overall lower productivity in most organizations. Various statistics show that;

Dr. Dan Dana (president of Mediation Training Institute International) states that

"Over 65% of performance problems result from strained relationships between employees—not from deficits in individual employees' skill."

These 'People Problems' are very costly with Gallup estimating disengagement costs the US economy over $450 billion annually. Try this handy online Employee Engagement Calculator to see what it's costing your organization.

In addition to what goes on from 9:00 - 5:00, if we have a bad day at work we tend to bring that home with us and hence affect family and personal lives.

Mens sana in corpore sano

If you have employees with a healthy mind in a healthy body

you have great potential for success

In addition to improving physical health, to really boost employee engagement, morale and productivity it is critical to work on the emotional aspects.

Today's workforce wants to

  • be empowered to find solutions
  • engage in open feedback and discussion
  • work in an environment where openness and honesty is the norm
  • manage differences to find collaborative solutions rather than turn into conflicts
  • feel valued <- this above all

An empowered, valued, and engaged worker will make better decisions - because they care more.

Most parents will tell you that they strive to raise healthy kids. But it's their relationship and connection with them as individuals that really drives their achievements and successes. The same holds true in the workplace.

Any of us can read the nutrition label on a health bar or the instructions to a stationary bike. But each human is unique and not one of us comes with a user guide - hence the importance of getting to know what makes someone tick.

So next time you're reaching for that apple (rather than a bag of chips) at work, why not also make a point of saying 'can I help you' or 'does this work for you' or simply 'thank you' to a fellow employee.