At ASEBP, we surveyed our staff several years ago and asked what they thought would help them be more engageed at work and contribute to a healthy workplace. And boy, did they tell us! We were thrilled with their ideas and suggestions. We also reminded them that this was a shared responsibility - both the employer and the employee had roles in ensuring success of a healthy workplace. One key area they wanted was an ability to work out at work. We circled back to them with options and they told us what they felt would make them motivated. From walking challenges to structured workouts at breaks and lunch, we incorporated as much as we could. And response has been fantastic! Ask employees - it's just that easy!
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Support for Wellness
How did you get your leadership to focus on and support wellness? Where and how did you start with them?
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Thanks for sharing your experience Jennifer! I agree with you, asking your employees for what they want is a great way to set the direction for any health initiative as well as provide opportunities to participate in wellness decisions at work.
I have found that to get leadership to focus on wellness, it needs to be tied into other priorities that leadership already has. For example, with Comprehensive School Health, it is important to note that CSH improves academic outcomes.
Excellent point Matthew. The priority of wellness is best recognized when the benefits are identified as having a direct positive impact on goals or benchmarks the school board values.
When it comes to employees health we know that those who value wellness are more likely to role model healthy behaviours to everyone in their school workplace, including their colleagues, the students in the school and community visitors.
A number of years ago, one of our jurisdiction partners examined staff attendance and sick leaves. They came to the conclusion that... if they invested some "up front" dollars in staff wellness that they would save significant dollars in sub fees and leaves of absence. What they have realized is that they are really investing in their own people. Let's face it, money is tight and we need to be wise with the resources we have. Our staff is our greatest resource so let's keep them healthy!
As we see anxiety and depression rates increase in our province, it becomes even more important to invest in staff wellness. Several jurisdictions in Central Alberta are making this a priority.