The Need for Wellness Programs
Our nation struggles with numerous chronic diseases that are preventable. Since employees spend a majority of their time in the workplace, it is one of the best places to educate on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and motivate employees to achieve their wellness goals. Promoting overall health and work-life balance in the workplace not only improves the wellbeing of your employees, but it is also vital in driving business outcomes.
In terms of success, corporate wellness programs have significantly evolved over the years. As we have discussed in a previous blog post, the most beneficial approach to inspiring true behavior change is by combining an organization culture of health and strong leadership with holistic, customizable options and the opportunity for wellness coaching. However, in light of COVID-19, another important aspect of overall wellbeing has been made abundantly clear: social health.
What is Social Health?
As stated by the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Social health is the third pillar of complete health and is often described as the ability to form and nurture strong relationships with others. While many may not have given social health much thought before COVID-19, it is now very clear how feelings of loneliness and isolation can affect one’s mental and physical health.
Humans are genetically social creatures. Even those that are considered introverts still greatly benefit from positive social interactions. The benefits of a healthy social life include:
- The prevention of mental decline
- Improved resiliency
- Reduced levels of stress and anxiety
- Overall better mood and positive outlook on life
- Improved ability to fight illness
Incorporating Social Heath Initiatives
The best part about incorporating social health initiatives into your wellness program is that it can fit any budget! Also, most options can also be done virtually, so you can get started right away! Examples of social health initiatives include:
- Book Club
- Coffee Hour
- Yoga or other types of group exercises classes
- Team volunteer efforts
- Team building exercises, such as an escape rooms or obstacle courses
The options are endless! Any activity that brings employees together and helps build a sense of community will greatly impact their overall health. In addition to the individual benefits each employee will experience from social health initiatives, the organization as a whole will see the following benefits:
- Improved work relationships
- Increased sense of loyalty and pride
- Increased productivity and engagement
- Reduced risk of burnout
- Overall improved job satisfaction
For more information, check out this recent Forbes article!