By Chuck Gillespie, executive director, Wellness Council of Indiana

In December, a new economic index came out identifying a direct correlation between the overall health of a community and the ability for its residents to learn and earn a higher wage. The Healthy, Wealthy, Wise Index was developed by the Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in collaboration with the Wellness Council of Indiana and the Indiana Chamber.

The Index links a community’s health rankings to poverty status and education levels. CBER also gives a glimpse of how Indiana compares to other states. The statistics tell a strong story, which is that our state must consider how the health and well-being of our residents will impact current and future economic prosperity. Your employees are directly impacted by your workplace culture and the environment of the community where your business is located. There is no way to separate this economic reality.

We hear from business owners, company leaders and human resource executives that they have jobs to fill but are struggling to find people to apply who will show up every day and are healthy enough (physically and mentally) to perform the work. This is especially true in the rural areas of our state. But what can we do to solve this issue? One way is to focus your efforts on making your business a destination place to work.

Understanding how to create an environment where recruiting and retaining talent is a top priority is the first step. The research states that effective recruiting and retention processes begin with two critical factors:

1. Having a workplace where culture matters
2. Having a nearby community that is desirable in which to live

The Wellness Council’s AchieveWELL assessment and evaluation for workplaces is a great start to understanding what it takes to develop a culture that matters. Additionally, our Indiana Healthy Community initiative combines AchieveWELL and the Healthy, Wealthy, Wise Index into a strategy for developing destination communities throughout the state.

Get started today with AchieveWELL.

If you ask most people to define wellness, many will suggest it’s a clinical hybrid of diet, exercise and disease management. While that’s important, the root definition of wellness is developing human potential in the right environment, allowing people to learn and grow personally and professionally. Five Star AchieveWELL workplaces focus on the root definition.

What we are asking you to accomplish is really not that difficult or expensive. It’s more about rethinking your daily routines and building a more purpose-driven culture at work. What’s stopping you?