Creating a Healthy, Energized Workplace

How do you generally feel when you enter your workplace? Happy to be there or dread walking in? The unfortunate news is that only 50% of employees are happy at work. A critical element that boosts morale and performance is wellbeing. Organizations that support a wellbeing strategy develop healthier, energized employees who thrive.

Ohio ranked 47th in wellbeing out of 50 states in Gallup’s 2015 State of American Wellbeing Report. The data to rank the states was compiled according to five key areas of wellbeing: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. These areas of wellbeing will be discussed at the Cleveland Business Connects Amplify event in April to help our local business raise our ranking. The event spotlights top business leaders sharing the latest information on transforming work cultures through wellbeing programs.

With plenty of room for improvement in our home state, how is your organization doing— is there a wellbeing plan in place or is it missing from the culture? In most cases companies without wellbeing programs do so by accident, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Small activities can be added to produce a big impact and create an energized, engaged workplace.

Get Started

There are simple lifestyle changes you can incorporate in your workplace that will not break the bank. Anyone who wants to work in a healthier environment can become a wellbeing champion. Start by compiling a mix of activities from each of the five wellbeing areas (below) and gain support from senior management. Then work with other co-workers who are enthusiastic about promoting wellbeing. Begin with a small pilot and add more from there setting up a wellbeing activity every few months to support employees and drive performance.

The beauty of addressing the five wellbeing areas is that it is a mind-body approach where each area reinforces the others to produce greater employee energy and engagement. Taking an integrated approach that cares about the whole person and positively impacts multiple areas of a person’s life, heightens employee engagement. Research shows engaged employees give 57% more effort and are 87% less likely to leave.

The mind and body work together to improve results in physical wellness. For example employees in a physical wellness program to stop smoking may have difficulty succeeding if they have a lot of dissatisfaction in their work role. While employees who have opportunities to focus on their purpose and career growth, might be more receptive to a physical wellness challenge. And employees who are offered social wellbeing activities to enhance teamwork might be more motivated to participate in a physical wellbeing nutritional program.

Bring your workplace into a new generation of wellbeing with updated activities. Here are sample ideas from each of the five wellbeing areas for a jumpstart:

  • Purpose / Career Wellbeing: select one month to focus on personal strengths and talents. Ask each person to identify their top strength and incorporate it in their job with approval of their manager. Highlight successes and encourage this to continue throughout the year.
  • Social Wellbeing: bring in fruit, veggies and a blender for a healthy juice bar to socialize; creating today’s version of the water cooler. Or add a pool table if you have the space.
  • Intellectual / Financial Wellbeing: create a growth opportunity day a couple times each year where employees are able to plan ahead to do whatever work that inspires them in the company for the day and after share what they learned.
  • Community Wellbeing: Select a cause and do it as a group, such as clean up your community waterfront or park area together coordinated by the local park system– it builds pride and a cohesive team.
  • Physical Wellbeing: bring in a masseuse for neck messages every month; or add a treadmill desk and have a signup to use it.

Incorporating whole person wellbeing into your culture can not only provide a better work experience, but also create a healthy, energized workplace with a sustainable impact on business performance.