3 first steps to creating a culture of wellness

4.4 million employees quit, of their own volition, in September 2021. The Great Resignation is real, it’s here, and in order to curb the groundswell, employers need to shift their policies and culture to improve retention.

People are leaving for numerous reasons, of course, but according to a survey conducted by Modern Health and Forrester, they found that roughly 33% of employees are quitting for the sake of their mental health.

With burnout on the rise, 87% of employees reported they wanted their company to care about their mental wellbeing; however, only 66% indicated they felt they received that care from their organization. There is a clear gap between what employees want and what employers are providing across all areas of wellness. This can absolutely change, however.

Here are three first steps to creating a culture of wellness at your workplace.

How to Create a Culture of Wellness

Incorporate wellness into your meetings

In order to make a difference in the overall wellness of employees, start by talking about it. Make it something your teams can discuss openly rather than guiltily admitting via chat. Celebrate when someone prioritizes wellness and the positive impact it makes on their productivity, relationships, and overall performance.

One method to creating a culture of wellness at your organization is to start including moments of wellness, particularly mental wellness into your workday. An easy way to do this, especially if you plan meetings, is to include a few moments of wellness at the top of every meeting.

To aid managers in doing this, we’ve created a special program with very short and accessible classes to take with your teams at the top of meetings. Classes include:

  • Quick affirmations
  • Chair yoga
  • Gratitude meditations
  • Short body scans

Offer wellness days throughout the year

Rather than waiting to get sick, or watch for presenteeism on your teams, start offering wellness days. Better yet, declare official office holidays so that your full team can rest and recharge. No matter how you do it, start offering wellness days on top of your PTO each year.

There are currently no federal legal requirements and very few states with paid sick leave laws which have led to a wide range of policies. Some companies require up to 10 days advance notice in writing for paid sick leave or medical certificates or employee self-certification with disclosed personal details surrendered to HR within 15 days of their absence.

Plus, there is often a stigma around asking for time off, especially when it is for mental health. Give your teams the space they need to take care of themselves before they get sick; give them permission to take time off without explanation or proof. You will see more loyalty, reduced absenteeism, and more innovative employees when they can come to work refreshed.

Have your leadership team model what it means to invest in personal wellness

Mind Share recently released a report on mental health in the workplace. When employees were asked about barriers to getting care for their mental health:

  • 23% indicated leaders didn’t promote mental health at work
  • 20% shared their managers didn’t promote mental health

Sometimes, the most impactful way to instigate change is to set an example. Employees will notice if leadership never seems to step away, recharge, spend time with family, or focus on their own mental health.

It doesn’t have to be flashy but it could be as simple as mentioning they are taking off a wellness day soon in your next “all-hands” meeting. It could be calling out some shifts they are making in their own schedule to take time to workout again. It could even be their participation in an all-company wellness challenge we can coordinate for you.

Let’s create a culture of wellness

As you look to support healthy change in your organization, you can lean on our team of dedicated managers and experts to find what will work best for you. Whether you are looking to make a small change, here and there, or trying to completely revolutionize your wellness offerings, we are here to help.

Let’s brainstorm some ways that we can help you create a culture of wellness through a corporate wellness program. Now is the time to lean in focus on impactful shifts that will help your employees thrive and reach their full potential.

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