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Employee Wellbeing

How to Make Workplace Well-Being Matter from the Top Down

Worker participation in corporate well-being programs is a challenge, but if a team leader engages, the rest of the group will follow suit. 

To well-be, or not to well-be

Sometimes leaders and managers can be unintentional obstacles that impede the success of an organization’s well-being strategy. Guiding management’s focus towards creating and maintaining healthy corporate leaders can significantly assist the success of well-being programs. Helping those leaders understand the importance of modeling the behavior of a healthy worker well-being is paramount because of the influence they can exert on their workforce. By providing an encouraging culture and a good example, a healthy leader can help employees want to stay and build their careers as well as their overall well-being.

With great power…

These healthy leaders can make the difference between making a workplace someplace that people want to be versus where people have to be. The have the power to enhance the employee experience, influence the work environment and create a no-guilt culture for employees. The way healthy leaders project themselves can motivate and inspire employees, and, in turn, may earn a better relationship with their workforce.

Healthy habit how-to

So, what do healthy leaders demonstrate? In many ways, healthy leaders are egoless. They see each employee as a unique individual. They understand that one approach does not work for everyone and that, sometimes, they need to meet people in the middle. For example, think about the  employee that wants to use the employee fitness center at a time that doesn’t match up with her regular lunch hour. Even though the wellness program recommends that every employee spend some time in the gym each day, the usual daily schedule is making it difficult. A healthy leader could work with this employee to find a way to allow for a break at a more convenient time. By doing the right thing for the right person at the right time, this leader can successfully enable the employee to meet her goal of physical well-being.

Another example may be the simple encouragement to take vacation time during a stressful period in her life. Every employee has non-work responsibilities and stressors, so encouraging the use of this important benefit results in the high probability of a better-engaged and healthier employee upon return. It’s important for the healthy leader to also use her own vacation time, not only to stay healthy and balanced, but to set a powerful example for staff.

A healthy leader understands that often she needs to look beyond a singular approach and be attentive to the needs of their employees. Being good at listening, connecting and being present and accessible for employees creates a shoulder-to-shoulder approach rather than a strict-policy one.

Understand and see improvement

Getting senior leaders to approve of this approach goes a long way towards creating a healthy environment for the entire organization. Coaching your leaders to understand the premise of what it means to be healthy — physically, emotionally and financially — helps promote that behavior among employees and co-workers. Healthy leaders can create an atmosphere of well-being in many ways (flexibility, healthy eating, mindfulness, etc.) Soon your entire organizational culture can be one of positive and healthful work habits, and that benefits everyone.

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