According to a new report, building a culture of wellbeing in the workplace is a top incentive for employees.
The research states that a positive culture attracts and retains employees and creates a sense of purpose, belonging, and balance in the workplace.
Building a culture of wellbeing starts with 4 key strategies: leading from the top, offering benefits, connecting digitally, and maintaining strong communications.
A recent report by Grokker argues that “a culture of wellbeing is the incentive employees are looking for.” However, today’s most effective and successful corporate culture is one that fosters wellbeing and strongly focuses on helping employees lead a healthy lifestyle inside and outside of the office.
Companies have started to embrace wellness for two main reasons. The first one is that the modern workforce generation is demanding it; “beyond more money and career advancement, they (the younger workforce generation) want more support achieving sustainable wellbeing. Modern employees want to know that their company will help them live a better life, period.”
The second is that organizations have realized that fostering a healthier, happier workplace experience leads to improved company performance. In other words, it helps individuals and it helps the company’s bottom line.
“Culture is what attracts and retains employees. It says ‘We care!’ It’s what creates a sense of purpose, belonging, and balance, and makes your employees want to bring their whole selves to work, to go ‘above and beyond’ and contribute wholeheartedly to your shared success.”
– Grokker, “The Culture Connection: Workforce Wellbeing and Your Organizational Success
Culture, however, is not something that “just happens”. Quite the contrary, culture is something that organizations have to actively develop and nurture, in order to create an environment where people want to be in and work in.
How to Actively Nurture a Culture of Wellbeing
First and foremost, Grokker recommends that companies use the method ‘listen, link and live.’
Listening is about engaging employees and understanding what’s important to them. This can be achieved through surveys, quick one-on-one meetings, or during annual employee reviews. It’s important to focus both on small issues (like what type of coffee, tea, or snacks they like) and big issues (which health benefits are they interested in, what issues are they struggling to address by themselves).
Linking is about connecting your company’s mission to what employees value. Creating this link is important because you will be better able to determine and foster a shared purpose. “Employees need to feel that they intuitively understand the connection between your culture, your company’s mission, and their role in carrying it out.”
Then there’s the live part of it. It’s one thing to talk about something, it’s an entirely different thing to act accordingly. For companies building a culture of wellness, it’s important that leaders walk the talk. It’s about incorporating shared values into company policies and actions; it’s not enough to put a poster up on the wall.
4 Proactive Strategies to Foster a Culture of Wellness
In the report, Grokker lays out 4 different strategies companies can use to begin building and nurturing a culture of wellbeing.
1. Cascade Wellbeing from the Top
This strategy is about leading by example, starting with executives and managers so that, eventually, employees become ambassadors for wellbeing and keep the culture infused with the fuel it needs to thrive. This requires managers to be given the tools and incentives to promote wellbeing among employees.
2. Support, Reward, and Motivate with a Holistic Wellbeing Program
“The best way to promote and reinforce workforce wellbeing — to really bring it to life — is through a formal benefits program.” According to Grokker, HR-sponsored wellbeing resources and activities are one of the best ways to demonstrate that a company cares about its employees. Keep in mind that in order to keep people engaged with these programs, they need to have a fun component embedded into them.
Suggested Reading: “Future of Work: The Shift towards Employee-Owned HR”
3. Connect Digitally
The digital realm is a resource that companies can leverage to maximize engagement in wellbeing programs and activities. Digital platforms make it easier for staff to have access to wellbeing experts and peer community at all times, which can help inspire and support their personal efforts.
We cannot stress how important communication is, and companies need to make sure that they stay on top of their wellbeing messages at all times. Messages need to be carefully and strategically crafted, they need to be shared regularly, and they need to be created in a variety of formats (video, audio, email, etc.). Make sure you take advantage of all available platforms to share them and, ideally, target each message to individuals or specific groups (those in sporting challenges, those focusing on mental health, those seeking to better manage stress, etc.)