In addition to the obvious — helping employees stay healthy — well-run workplace wellness also can (and should) contribute positively to a company’s culture.
How might that occur? A recent study shows the positive effects.
The study, “Using a Wellness Team as Beginning Strategy for Building Wellness Culture at an Academic Institution,” was presented last year at the 27th International Nursing Research Congress.
As the report outlines: “A wellness team is an essential component of a worksite wellness program initiative. The role of the wellness team is to communicate, participate, motivate, and support the worksite wellness program. Wellness teams help employees to see worksite wellness is an organizational priority. They contribute their interest, their passion, their expertise, and their time to the organization.”
For the study, the group created “the wellness team (Wellness Innovators) at a large academic institution in the United States…The program is facilitated by a health promotion professional with experience running a wellness team. Six and 12-month outcomes are tracked in every new cohort who joins the program, and the program is very structured, with touch points on a monthly basis.”
The results: “In one cohort, the results showed a significant correlation with Body Mass Index (BMI) and beliefs about living a healthy lifestyle… and BMI and healthy lifestyle behaviors… In a second cohort, those that completed the 6 month follow-up had an increased perception of having a higher overall wellbeing for working at the institution.”
Importantly, the report adds: “Program communications, strategy sessions, group meetings, webinars, and many unit wellness initiatives conducted by the Innovators under the direction of the program facilitator are documented to demonstrate the intricacies and success of the program, as well as success and challenges with employee participation and engagement in wellness.”
The conclusion delivers good tips for employee engagement and a well-run wellness program: “Measuring perceptions and successes of the workplace wellness team is vital to the longevity and fiscal support of the program, as well as engagement for those volunteering their time and energy to promote a culture and environment where making the healthy choice is the easier choice.”
For more information, see the accompanying presentation: “Psychometric Properties of the Perceptions of Wellness and Environment Culture Scale.”