The pandemic has highlighted the importance of worker health and wellness. These issues are now more important than ever and businesses must take them into account when developing action plans.
A recent survey conducted by the Quebec Order of Psychologists found that people are experiencing higher levels of distress and anxiety due to the pandemic and the resulting public health restrictions. Nearly 86% of psychologists reported seeing increased distress among their clients and 70% said former clients have come back to see them since the beginning of the pandemic. How can we address this problem? Concrete action is needed.
According to the World Health Organization, promoting health in the workplace is a process that gives employees the means to take control of their health.
For businesses, creating a healthy workplace that fosters overall wellness can result in a wide range of benefits, such as:
- Higher job satisfaction
- Increased feeling of belonging and engagement
- Improved productivity
- Lower insurance costs and incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses
- Decreased absenteeism
These are just some of the benefits of creating a corporate culture that actively promotes employee wellness.
Creating environments that foster employee wellbeing and personal growth can also help companies boost their employer brand. Since this strategy can help businesses attract talent, it’s especially useful for industries facing a labour shortage.
A brief history of occupational health and wellness
Corporate concern for worker wellbeing is relatively new. The shift started in the early 2000s, when managers started including worker health promotion in their management practices.
For the first time, employee health was an organizational responsibility. Between 2010 and 2020, worker health promotion gained prominence in workplaces and the responsibility became shared. Employers and employees are now expected to uphold the principle of worker health promotion, which is defined as the art and science of helping people make healthier lifestyle choices.
Employee health initiatives
The workplace is the ideal location for implementing health-promotion initiatives. Why? The reason is simple: work is where we spend most of our waking lives. In addition, employers have the opportunity to repeat messages over time to create a shared culture and promote common goals.
Employers aren’t there to save people. Their role, however, is to be an important actor that provides workers with helpful tools to positively impact their personal, social and family lives.
It all starts with caring
Caring is an attitude that shapes the way we interact with others. A caring management style involves being attentive to the wellbeing of your employees and others who contribute to your projects. It involves showing genuine concern for how they’re doing. Caring comes from the heart and manifests itself in day-to-day actions such as taking the time to listen, thank, reassure and advise your team. In short, it’s about showing that you’re interested in them as people.
A commitment from the top
Promoting health and wellness isn’t the sole responsibility of the HR manager or the OHS committee. To be successful, the entire management team has to get behind the initiative.
Healthy Enterprise movement and standard
The Healthy Enterprise movement involves implementing a process developed by experts based on best practices in occupational health and wellness. It works for organizations of any size or sector.
Our firm is recognized as a provider, ambassador and member of the Healthy Enterprise movement.
We’re equipped with the right tools to help you implement a health and wellness culture, strengthen your current initiatives or set your organization on the path to becoming a Healthy Enterprise.
Interested in the Healthy Enterprise movement and standard? Contact us! We’d be happy to tell you more about it.
This article was written in collaboration with Stéphanie Nadeau, who is a senior advisor at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and has been certified by Entreprises en santé to help organizations implement the Healthy Enterprise process.
09 Dec 2020 | Written by :