Coming Together Using Wellness

By: Allison Barkel

In the last two years, we have seen a dramatic increase in companies moving towards fully remote for their employees. Which certainly has its benefits, but comes with its own challenges, particularly around building company culture and employee cohesion. With employees working from home and all around the country, and sometimes the world, it can be hard to feel connected to one another. There are no after work happy hours, water cooler chats, or informal connection beyond the computer. This can lend itself to challenges to build company culture and cohesion.

Additionally, an emphasis on wellness has also garnered extra attention in the past two years. With high employee burnout, the Great Recession, increased mental health challenges and other contributing factors, wellness has become a new priority for many companies. In fact, “nearly 80% of benefits specialists and HR leaders say they have prioritized the health and well-being of employees in 2020…” (Wooldridge, 2021). 

It is imperative that when considering how to use a wellness program that the company also thinks about how to infuse wellness into the culture. Wellness needs to be a priority all year round and modeled from the leadership. It can also be leveraged to build community.

Ideas for Integrating Wellness

  1.  Bring people together through workout classes, healthy habits workshops, or even come together for a cooking class. Of course, these can all be done virtually. 
  2. Another opportunity to build cohesion is to create wellness teams. For everyone who is motivated to embrace a healthy lifestyle, encourage them to form teams. Emphasize community building such as team names, colors, mascot, slogan, etc. The more that folks commit to this team, the more likely they are to commit healthy change and can be driven by healthy peer pressure.
  3. Promote wellness engagement by creating a wellness committee or group. Allow for folks who are passionate to come together to drive the culture of wellness. Give wellness groups the autonomy to make decisions, plan programs, and a budget to reward participation. You may even find that this model removes the challenge from HR professionals.
  4. Lastly, allow time and space for people to increase their health literacy. Create a wellness channel in your company’s community space to share articles, resources, recipes, workout ideas, etc. Start a book club and encourage employees to join in on lunch and learn or host discussions about the book. You may even start with Understanding Life by LifeOmic CEO, Don Brown.

Whichever approach you choose, use your wellness program to promote company culture and cohesion. Invite your employees to prioritize their health, join your Precision Wellness program, share successes in your company’s Circle and encourage others to get involved too.