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The Importance of a Wellness Plan in Your Workplace

Importance of Welness Plan by Management Courses Provider in Perth

As a premier provider of management courses and leadership development programs in Perth, we have had the honour of learning what separates successful organisations from those that struggle. Our Integral Approach, due to its roots in Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, focuses on developing individuals in all aspects of their lives to produce a stronger team. We have found our programs to be even more effective with organisations that have a wellness plan in place.

Why a Wellness Plan is Essential for Success

If your workforce is not healthy and motivated, you are losing part of your market share to people who are. From entry level through executive level, there is a strong correlation between wellness and high performance.

If you don’t have a wellness plan established in your workplace, you are losing revenue to increased operating costs. Operating costs are all affected by the following: excess absenteeism, increased health care premiums, decreased productivity, lack of dependability and lack of motivation.

The lack of a wellness program in the workplace can often magnify challenges on individual and team levels. Employees who don’t feel well can become withdrawn and edgy, with encounters often escalating into “incidents” due to anger. Employees who don’t feel well tend to find it more difficult to discuss workplace issues, both with each other and with management.

From entry level to stakeholders, a wellness plan is essential for success in a competitive business climate.

How to Develop a Workplace Wellness Program

Before starting a program, it is important to bring workers, management and union representation together. All must agree that a wellness initiative is important and beneficial to all sides. That way, everybody is involved in the initiative and it will be taken seriously by all sides.

After all sides have come together in agreement that it is worth time and resources to establish a wellness initiative, establish a Health and Wellness Committee with representatives from all sides. Then, give the committee the power to implement the program pending approval at the executive level.

One person should be designated the Wellness Coordinator and made responsible for implementing action steps created by the committee. Next, funds should be allocated for a Health and Wellness budget that will finance wellness activities in the workplace. A stress audit should be conducted to identify what areas are causing problems and an action plan should be created, based on the findings of the audit.

The next step, which is a major undertaking, is to either improve or develop workplace policies and practices involving health and wellness. These can include communication, time off for personal wellness or family responsibilities, attendance management, training and mentoring, leadership development, improved supervision and assimilating those with illnesses or disabilities back into the workplace through rehabilitation if necessary.

Schedule flexibility should be addressed. Keep an open mind towards job sharing or “flex-time,” with flexible days and hours for workers whose situations make it difficult for them to work a traditional schedule. An open and effective grievance procedure is also helpful.

Any health and wellness program should include creating workplace activities that promote physical fitness. This can include such activities as walking, running or bicycling to work, fitness activities during lunch hour, an exercise room or gym with exercise equipment and a bicycle rack to encourage employees to ride bicycles to work.

Promoting Health and Wellness in the Workplace

The best way to promote a health and wellness program in the workplace is to assimilate it into the corporate culture—the more creative you are with this, the better.

Communication is essential for increasing awareness, acceptance and finally participation of any new program—even health and wellness. At the beginning, you should publicise the program heavily. Posters should be in prominent places and brochures should be given to employees by hand in the break room.

Your company newsletter should have a health and wellness column. Larger newsletters should have an entire section devoted to health and wellness. We also advocate group trainings and encourage you to bring in community speakers. Hosting health seminars can also be effective.

We advocate offering employees paid time to participate in activities which promote health, such as fund-raising events or walk-a-thons. Instead of firing employees with substance abuse and other problems, educate them to get help before their problem reaches “critical mass.”

How Integral Development can Help

Our management courses and leadership development programs lead to natural implementation of many of the programs described here. We encourage holistic development of the individual and the team; our recommendations greatly improve mental and emotional health in the workplace. Call our Perth campus for more information: 1300 176 789.

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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