There are many, many components to an effective wellness program and the thought of getting started can feel daunting. There is no need to feel overwhelmed. Don’t rush in. Take it one step at a time and remember that your wellness program should be well thought out and will take time to grow. So what’s the first step?
“Employees reporting higher levels of leadership support for health promotion also reported higher levels of wellness activity participation, lower job stress, and greater levels of health behavior. Results suggest that employees’ perceptions of organizational leadership support for health promotion are related to their participation in wellness activities, perceived job stress levels, and health behaviors(Hoert, et. al, 2016).”
Your priority in initiating successful worksite wellness initiatives will be to ensure leadership is committed and aligned. The evidence shows having leaders engaged at all levels is crucial to the success of your program. Leaders must be profoundly committed to the wellness of their employees and be role models of wellness in their own lives. Without this, it can be nearly impossible to shift your company culture. Direct supervisor support generates excitement and efficiently connects employees to available resources. The central part of a manager’s role is to stimulate positive change and maintain a supportive environment.
Is it reasonable to expect significant change if you aren’t willing to take a strong and definitive personal stance? Responsibilities of leading a healthy company include; caring about your organizations people, being a role model, developing the wellness vision statement for the new “health future” of your company, facilitating communication, allocating resources (ie. staffing, program budgets, physical space and time), and distributing responsibility by empowering other executives, managers, and frontline employees to ensure that wellness is embraced and adopted throughout all levels of the company.
Are you ready? Take this wellness_leadership_survey to find out.
Hoert, J., Herd, A. M., & Hambrick, M. (2016). The Role of Leadership Support for Health Promotion in Employee Wellness Program Participation, Perceived Job Stress, and Health Behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion,32(4), 1054-1061. doi:10.1177/0890117116677798
Wellness Councils Of America