Management Support of Workplace Wellness

Management Support of Workplace Wellness Matters in Smaller Companies, Too

We reported previously on “why you need to engage manager in workplace wellness.” In that post, we noted that one of the authors stated: “Leadership support is essential in any workplace change, including wellness. Most employee wellness initiatives don’t utilize the power of manager leadership – this strategy is unique in that it really taps into the manager’s ability to lead their team to wellness.”

Now a 2016 study shows that manager support may be especially important in helping grow workplace wellness programs in smaller companies.

The Health Education Journal study is titled “Views of the workplace as a health promotion arena among managers of small companies.” The study sought to describe “how managers in small companies perceive their company as an arena for promoting employees’ health.”

The findings included:

An overarching theme appeared in the date in the form of the statement, ‘an arena for WHP is created when the managers prioritised health at the workplace’. Overall, managers were aware of the workplace as a prospective area for health promotion.”

But the study also showed that managers needed outside help: “Managers wished to add to the definition and shape the arena in such a way that it would be in the interest of the company’s profit, and they felt they needed some extra support from organisations outside the company.”

Other findings include:

  • “Managers were aware that they had the potential to promote health among their employees by positive influences on the psychosocial workplace environment.”
  • “The managers saw it as important to encourage employees to adopt healthy lifestyles, and that by promoting health in the workplace, they could create the conditions for them to do so. By offering physical activities, for example, they were also creating conditions for good psychological well-being for their employees.”
  • “Setting a good example was seen as important when it came to motivating employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle.”
  • “Participants felt that promoting health was meaningful and beneficial for the company.”
  • “The workplace was seen as an arena for health promotion and was generally perceived to provide the opportunity to reduce employees’ sickness absence.”

But outside help really matters:

  • “The participants expressed a need for external support to perceive their workplace as an arena for health promotion. They stated that they needed inspiration and knowledge as well as collaboration with other parties outside the company.”
  • “Managers were aware that, at times, they did not have enough knowledge about health and ideas for health promotion activities in the workplace.”