A culture of well-being can keep your organization running at it’s best. According to studies, a strong culture of health and wellness has been linked to organizational outcomes such as improved employee health, productivity and retention.1
But for a culture of well-being to have an impact on your organization, you need to do more than offer health challenges and remind your employees to get their screenings once a year.2 You need to create a clear strategy that will encourage your employees to be healthier, every day of their lives.
At WebMD Health Services, we’ve carefully crafted a plan for creating a culture of well-being. We implement health-focused policies into every aspect of our organization, from the top down and inside out. It helps us to consistently improve our employee’s enthusiasm, engagement and positivity—both at work and home.
To put well-being front and center at your organization, create your own plan using these six steps for achieving a thriving well-being culture.
1. Hire the right people.
It’s important to hire people that are the right fit for your company, including your culture. When you hire people who are like-minded, you get a jump-start on integrating them into your culture and making them proactive, positive contributors to it.
To make sure you’re hiring the right employees, ask them the following questions and measure their response to what your culture needs to thrive.
- What type of environment do you want to work in and why?
- What’s your ideal way of working?
- How do you approach challenging situations or people?
2. Recruit culture champions.
Find people who are advocates of well-being and ask them to be a culture champion. With more people on your team, you’ll have an easier time motivating your employees to take up healthy habits.
You should also encourage your champions to take part in healthy activities and programs your company offers. Peer pressure can be a positive force in this context!
Your well-being champions can also help you:
- Organize special events for your department.
- Actively promote well-being events and programs to their colleagues.
- Be resources for other team members.
3. Ask, listen and act.
Find out what your employees need and want. Whether individually or as a group, ask them what they expect from a well-being culture.
Afterward, report back to your employees so they know they’ve been heard—it’s a great way to encourage them to keep sharing ideas. To get your employees to tell you their thoughts, try the following:
- Discuss well-being culture on a regular basis during staff meetings.
- Let people know they can always reach out to you or your well-being champions.
- Send quarterly surveys asking for culture-related feedback.
4. Connect to life outside of work.
Create a forum for your employees to talk about their hobbies, family and life outside of work. It can help create rapport and gives your employees an opportunity to see their co-workers in a new way.
They may find they have more in common with people at your workplace than they once thought! Need ideas to get started? Try the following:
- Host a pet parade month where people bring in pictures of their pets and post them on a bulletin board.
- Have a show-and-tell and encourage employees to share something that has special meaning to them.
5. Connect to your community.
Giving your employees the opportunity to take part in a charitable event could help boost their well-being. When people commit benevolent acts, it may help lower cortisol levels, reduce stress, ease pain, lower blood pressure and give the immune system a boost!
Not to mention, it can give your team a chance to bond. You should strive to:
- Seek ideas that match up with your company’s mission or business.
- Find a local organization you can develop an ongoing relationship with.
- Coordinate closely with other departments.
6. Live by example.
It’s your responsibility to be a positive role model. By living a healthy lifestyle and participating in the activities you promote, you will set an example and send your employees the right message.
For ideas on how to be a healthy example, try the following:
- Go for a run at lunchtime or in the mid-afternoon.
- Participate in all the health challenges and programs your company offers.
- Work from home when your child is sick and allow your employees to do the same.
Take you well-being culture a step farther.
The steps outlined above have helped WebMD Health Services create a thriving well-being culture. But, don’t limit yourself to these principles alone. Consider outside practices that make sense for your organization, get creative with your ideas and learn more from our e-book, Creating a Culture That Shines.
Put your well-being plan into action.
Culture cannot be touched, but it can be seen and felt. It’s the energy that either propels people forward in an organization or drags them down. For your organization to have a thriving well-being culture that helps encourage happiness, better health and greater productivity—you must create a thorough strategic plan and put it into action.