We’ve all heard the facts about why wellness in the workplace is crucial, but business owners and senior managers need to practice what they preach as a business to boost results.
“For example a 2005 Medibank Private survey found that Australian employees with poor health behaviours have up to nine times the annual sickness absence of healthy individuals,” says Nikki Fogden-Moore, a corporate wellness expert and CEO of The Vitality Coach.
Even for larger corporations with the ability to offer gym memberships, charity runs or yoga sessions, they won’t see a change in employee mindset unless the leadership team lead by example, says Fogden-Moore.
Change will only occur when you address a variety of factors ranging from your leadership style to your daily priorities:
1. Strong leadership accountability
Promotion of a healthy office environment comes from the top down. Those who lead by example reap bigger rewards in the form of lower costs, greater productivity and higher morale, says Fogden-Moore.
The first step is asking your managers to adopt a personal health goal and see that as valuable as their business goals to encourage others to do the same.
“Except in tiny companies, most employees report to a middle manager. By shaping the ‘top down’ culture in the workplace to include your middle managers, your wellness programs will be more effectively implemented,” she says.
2. Create the right culture
Unlock employee potential by creating a balance between business goals versus personal vitality and embedding that in your office culture, says Fogden-Moore. Demonstrate effective use of time management and planning of your week by putting wellness on the agenda. Incorporating it into your week helps healthy choices become part of the office DNA, she says.
“Set health and wellbeing as a weekly subject for your management teams. Be transparent about implementing wellness time into your agenda, as this encourages others to do the same.”
3. Lead by example
The new breed of successful leaders represent someone who is fit, healthy, thinks clearly and takes pride in all areas of their life - they are healthy, wealthy and wise, says Fogden-Moore.
Start moving down this path by prioritising more of what you love and placing it at the top of the to-do list.
“Rediscover exercises you enjoy and the healthy food you look forward to. Make smart fitness decisions and fresh food a part of your day and include it in your agenda as part of your business.”
Reward health and personal accountability alongside commercial goals, she says. Communicate relevant milestones and ensure team leaders use the same words and actions around the importance of personal wellbeing.
The result will be a highly engaged team showing more productivity and team work, use of consistent goals and motivation that can be shared and overcome together.