By Chuck Gillespie, executive director, Wellness Council of Indiana

Wellness is a broad word. It’s critical, however, to understand some of the key success factors and balances to encourage employees to live a healthier lifestyle. Keep the following three acknowledgements in mind as you build or expand your health improvement strategy:

  1. Employees are at different levels of readiness, which necessitates varying strategies.
    Each of your employees is at varying levels of change. Some are already motivated and living a healthy lifestyle, while many are still trying to figure out how to transition their current habits toward a healthier existence. Ensure that your programs are meeting your employees at their level.
  1. Health is not just specific to medical diagnosis or risk.
    There are a multitude of factors that impact the health and well-being of your employees. At the top are stress levels and how individuals cope with them.

    Stress is the No. 1 health risk at work today. What are the leading causes? Typically, stress-related issues include personal struggles, such as legal or financial woes. There are also professional stressors like competency and relationships with supervisors. These factor into health matters and need to be considered in your strategy planning.

  1. Your workplace environment matters more than you want to believe.
    If you allow it, you own it. Unhealthy meeting snacks purchased with company funds can lead to health problems. In addition, low morale resulting from a lack of leadership leads to hopelessness and fear of job loss. These are among the issues that can cause substantial health damage to your employees. Think about what you allow at your workplace and you’ll gain insight into why some of your health issues exist.

Best of class workplace wellness strategies begin with an emphasis on getting employees excited about coming to work every day (or at minimum, not dreading the commute). Build your health improvement plan to address these three acknowledgements and you’ll see better solutions to your workplace wellness challenges.

Contact Chuck Gillespie at (317) 264-2168 or via email: chuck@wellnessindiana.org