Wellness Programmes are not created equal: How to avoid missing the mark

With the continual impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the pressures of modern living, workplace wellness programmes have become increasingly important throughout the business landscape. 

Many workplace wellness programmes have traditionally placed their primary focus on self-care of the individual as a means of improving employee health and productivity. However, research now suggests that this individualistic approach is actually incongruent with wellness. Connection to the larger group is a crucial ingredient of wellness. Without connection, humans cannot achieve it. So how can business leaders ensure that their wellness programmes do not miss the mark?

Shifting focus from an individual to the group

In order to achieve workplace wellness, it is important to cultivate a culture of caring for the group as a whole, rather than focusing on the individual. After all, if the toe hurts, the whole body experiences pain and stress. 

By reconceptualising wellness in this way, the group is encouraged to work together to address any pain points. This approach delivers a dual benefit to the workplace, as group members are able to draw on each other’s strengths to solve problems quicker, while also learning to operate more effectively as a whole. More importantly, this approach strengthens communication channels and avoids emotionally isolating individual team members. 

Creating time and space to share 

Since connection is the foundation of wellness, we must make time for sincere listening and sharing as a group if we are to achieve it. Times for listening and sharing should occur frequently and must be incorporated into the daily rhythms of the business.

It is well established that suppressing emotions can propel an individual into a fight-or-flight condition. This may well cause clouded thinking, which leads to more mistakes being made and more time being lost. Creating the time and space within the workplace to debrief as a group provides an opportunity to release this emotional tension and restore logical thinking. 

The practice of sharing together may also provide an opportunity for people to practice conflict resolution and correct future behaviour. As group members share together, they may become more intimately acquainted with each other, which may lead them to reflect on how their choices may affect others in the future and adapt their behaviours accordingly. 

Lastly, the group will become more connected as individuals, sharing and receiving collective support and comfort. 

Benefits of a new approach

Implementing a new approach to wellness may seem time-consuming and tiresome. However, by ensuring that your wellness programme does not miss the mark, your employees will not only enjoy better health and operate more effectively within their teams, but your business will reap the other long-term benefits of increased employee wellness and engagement. These benefits include:

  • better staff retention
  • reduced absenteeism
  • increased job satisfaction and productivity
  • bolstered morale
  • reduced relational friction
  • increased ease of recruitment

In a nutshell, all wellness programmes are not created equal, and the effectiveness of your wellness programme directly correlates to your business’s scope for success. As such, it is an investment worth making.

To learn or find out more, contact us today.

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