The Canadian Standards Association, the Bureau de normalisation du Québec and the Mental Health Commission of Canada have released a new National Standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace (currently available for free download). The Standard was developed to help organizations create and sustain psychologically healthy and safe workplaces.
Although the Standard is completely voluntary right now it does provide a framework for organizations to create and/or improve a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.
What do you think about when you hear Workplace Wellness? Companies across the globe are learning that simple programs such as health education and off-hours sporting events are getting staff moving and improving overall workplace well-being. For example, today Bell was promoting their initiative to donate five cents to mental health initiatives across Canada. More often we are seeing companies of all sizes taking action towards promoting the well-being of employees in the workplace – and not all of these programs need to be costly initiatives.
Wellness initiatives can take whatever form works best for your company. The place to start is to identify the needs and interests of your staff in order to develop a program that people will actually participate in. For example, maybe an after work pick-up hockey game would work well for your staff rather than a lunch-time nutrition seminar. Developing a program that brings health and wellness into your workplace that your employees are interested in, can have many impacts on your company:
There is a definite link to employee well-being and productivity in the workplace, making wellness initiatives essential rather than “nice-to-have.” Not only will wellness programs increase productivity and employee morale, but they will also attract and retain a strong workforce. Your wellness program could become your competitive advantage that attracts the best people to come work for your company. Reducing absenteeism and injury claims can have a serious affect on your company’s bottom line in a positive way. Increasing employee morale creates an environment where people want to come to work and take pride in what they’re doing. If a wellness program is one step towards this, then why not take action?
What exactly does “well-being” mean?
In the workplace, employee well-being can be broken up into three areas. In order for employees to achieve positive morale and workplace well-being, all three must be met in their own unique way.
When deciding what wellness programs to implement in your workplace, take into consideration what your program will target. For example, creating after work pick-up hockey targets physical health and social health as it’s a fast-paced team-oriented game. It could also serve as a means for employees to blow off stress which means this program essentially targets each point.
What kind of programs could you implement?
To get you started, here is a list of a few ideas of programs you could implement in your workplace:
Some of these programs will work well for your organization, others you might need to mould into something that will better suit your workplace. Whatever you chose, keep in mind that the affects can be extremely positive – and cost effective – for your organization.
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