By Theresa Islo, program manager for UW Health and Wellness Management
Wellness movements can start at the top. But not all do. According to Laura Putnam, author of Workplace Wellness that Works, anyone within a company can spark a wellness movement. Whether your movement is top-down or bottom-up, the key is to make a compelling case for why a workplace should invest in wellness. Your job is to convince leadership to see the value of workplace wellness.
In her book, Laura shares strategies for making your case. In other words, strategies that help senior leaders make the connection between employee well-being and productivity at work. Reduction of direct healthcare costs, once the Holy Grail of wellness outcomes, are only the tip of the iceberg!
How does one demonstrate the value of well-being to the leadership team? Here are some brief highlights the 5 strategies for building your case:
- Focus on the costs beneath the surface.
- Focus on the value instead of return on investment
- Build a business case based on specific organizational needs
- Make the emotional case
- Connect wellness with a higher purpose
These strategies have been put into action by some of today’s most admired companies. Among the wide range of examples you’ll learn from through Workplace Wellness That Works:
Nintendo subsidizes a daily “Green Arrow” healthy cafeteria option and provides ventilated bike storage that dries out its Pacific Northwestern commuters’ clothes and bikes by the end of the day
Virgin America gives new employees pedometers so they can participate in their BeFit wellness movement, with challenges tracked through Fitbits and mobile apps
Salesforce improves employees’ sense of well-being by giving them six days off a year to volunteer to serve their community
Goldman Sachs recast its mindfulness program as “resilience” training designed to sharpen their employees’ competitive edge
IDEO reduced employee soda consumption in its employee kitchen by moving soda to lower shelves out of eye level and moving the water and sparkling water up to higher shelves
Huffington Post embraced the power of mini-siestas by installing nap rooms for employees during work time
Schindler Elevator integrates wellness into its leadership and safety training programs, empowering managers to become models of well-being
Eileen Fisher kicks off every meeting with a moment to be silent and simply reflect
Patagonia built well-being into its fabric with the founder’s call to “Let my people go surfing”
Associate Professor Penny Lyter of the University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness master’s degree program credits Laura’s strategies for changing the way she teaches wellness.
You can change your approach to wellness too. We’ve partnered with Laura Putnam to make her tips available through the white paper, “10 Steps to Workplace Wellness That Works.” Download the white paper at http://bit.ly/UWwellness and begin serving as an agent of change in your own organization.
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