Episode 58 – How to Build a Sustainable Wellness Program

A healthy workplace is a must for any organization that desires to be future-proof.

To collectively fulfill the vision and mission of your organization, its people should be healthy – holistically, not just physically and mentally. And how do you achieve this holistically healthy workplace? With a sustainable wellness program, of course! Not one of those half-baked, poorly executed one-day seminars – I mean a real wellness program. Wellness is a lifestyle, a culture, a way of living.

The following are steps to build a sustainable wellness program:

1. Set the culture from the start

The most important thing is setting the culture from the start. The usual order of command in any organization is top-down. The leaders set the tone of the workplace, and everything they do becomes an example for all employees. If you believe in health or fitness, this philosophy will trickle down to your people. This is not only because the leaders make the decisions, but also because most employees respect and admire their leaders as well.

What to do:

A true leader sets the example in your organization – every day – not just wellness month. Live a healthy lifestyle.

2. Define your champion team

A champion team can make anything happen. Simply build and nurture a community with a passion for health and fitness and share in its values. This strong, energetic, and supportive environment will create a place for others in your organization to go for help and guidance. It’ll also be the driving force for recruiting and growing your wellness program from within your organization as opposed to being forced upon your organization in an artificially packaged way.

Good leaders should also be involved with the champion team too. As they say, lead by example. This will also allow you to truly understand and experience healthy workplace relationships with them (excuse the pun). This also reduces the often intimidating, “superhuman” image of bosses, and replaces it with a more approachable, relatable, real life person.

What to do:

Find your champions and bring them together over a meal. Here’s a simple formula to follow:

A shared passion for health and wellbeing + food = a health and fitness mastermind.

3. Work to improve policies

Policies may sound like a stiff set of legal mumbo-jumbo but really it’s just a set of rules that someone made up. They can be easily changed as well – just get out the eraser…jokes…Use policy to your advantage and create a healthy workplace by default.

Policies tailor made to facilitate a wellness program would result in a collective pathway towards more habitual, healthier lifestyles for all and by virtue of culture (re-)creation.

What to try:

Create a weekly program that focuses on specific goodness. For example, Motivation Monday is a great way to start the week! Every Monday inspirational stories about fitness can be shared in the office to create a stronger environment for health and fitness. It’ll also create a snowball effect within the workplace and will be much more sustainable and encouraging than a weight loss challenge. Fruit Friday is another good one.

How else can you build a sustainable wellness program? Read on below.

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