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Culture Change:

Workplace Wellness Culture: Part 2

Peggy Swarbrick Ph.D., FAOTA, Research Professor, Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology and Associate Director of the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies; Director, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey Wellness Institute

This is the second blog focused on the importance of creating and sustaining a workplace wellness culture. The following are some concrete tasks organizational leaders and supervisors can implement for each of the eight dimensions of wellness to support a workplace wellness culture for peer support specialists and the overall workforce:

Physical Wellness:

  • Encourage regular breaks and physical activity: Schedule short breaks throughout the workday to allow employees to stretch, walk, or engage in other physical activities.
  • Provide ergonomic support: Ensure that workstations are properly set up to promote good posture and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal issues.
  • Offer wellness challenges: Organize team challenges to encourage physical activity and camaraderie among employees.

Emotional Wellness:

  • Create a supportive environment: Foster open communication and encourage employees to express their emotions and concerns without fear of judgment.
  • Consider a transition routine: Do a warm up or mental transition into the work mindset and a cool down transition after work to personal life mindset
  • Provide access to mental health resources: Offer counseling services, or workshops on self care skills and strategies that are useful for staff to manage stress and feel fulfilled in their work.
  • Implement recognition programs: Acknowledge and celebrate employees’ achievements and milestones to boost morale and emotional well-being.

Social Wellness:

  • Foster a sense of community: Organize team-building activities, social events, or virtual meetups to promote connections and camaraderie among employees.
  • Encourage collaboration: Create opportunities for employees to work together on projects or initiatives, fostering a sense of belonging and teamwork.
  • Facilitate peer support networks: Establish mentorship programs or peer support groups where employees can share experiences, provide advice, and offer support to one another.

Intellectual Wellness:

  • Offer learning opportunities: Provide access to training programs, workshops, or webinars to help employees develop new skills and expand their knowledge.
  • Encourage creativity and innovation: Create a culture that values new ideas and encourages employees to think outside the box.
  • Support professional development: Provide opportunities for employees to events and engage in activities relevant to building their skills and capacities intellectually, emotionally and socially.

Occupational Wellness:

  • Promote work-life balance: Encourage employees to set boundaries between work and personal life, such as by setting clear working hours and limiting after-hours communication.
  • Provide growth opportunities: Offer opportunities for career advancement, promotions, or lateral moves within the organization.
  • Conduct regular check-ins: Schedule one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their workload, career goals, and any challenges they may be facing in their role.
  • Do a self-reflection performance review to identify strengths and areas for continued growth.

Environmental Wellness:

  • Create a comfortable work environment: Ensure that the physical workspace is clean, well-lit, and conducive to productivity.
  • Implement sustainability initiatives: Encourage eco-friendly practices such as recycling, reducing waste, and using energy-efficient equipment.
  • Address safety concerns: Regularly assess and address any safety hazards in the workplace to ensure the well-being of employees.

Financial Wellness:

  • Offer financial education: Provide workshops or seminars on budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning.
  • Provide competitive benefits: Offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, retirement plans, and other financial incentives.
  • Promote financial stability: Advocate for fair compensation, transparent salary policies, and opportunities for advancement within the organization.

Spiritual Wellness:

  • Respect diverse beliefs: Foster an inclusive environment that respects employees’ religious and spiritual beliefs and how they are personal for everyone.
  • Provide or promote opportunities for employees to attend workshops on spirituality.
  • Offer practices conducive to staff preferences: Provide opportunities for staff to share and engage in self-identified practices to help employees cultivate inner peace and resilience.
  • Encourage reflection: Create space for employees to reflect on their values, purpose, and sense of meaning in their work and personal lives.

By implementing these concrete tasks across the eight dimensions of wellness, organizational leaders and supervisors can create a supportive workplace culture that promotes the overall wellness of their employees.