How Proactive Employers Create a Healthy Workplace

May 1st, 2010
by Val Kinjerski

Proactive employers have adopted a broad definition of workplace wellness. Acknowledging workplaces as a key determinant of health, these employers go beyond the traditional occupational health and safety initiatives and health promotion programs. They consider how the culture of the organization impacts employee wellbeing and thus, productivity.
 
Comprehensive workplace health initiatives focus on three areas:
 
1.Creating a safe and physically healthy work environment. The emphasis is on preventing injuries or illness and eliminating hazards. Examples are workplace design and ergonomics, safety guidelines, air quality and elimination of hazards.
 
2. Promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles. These are the traditional health promotion activities at work which address lifestyle practices of employees. Examples are: stress management programs, smoking cessation programs, fitness programs or subsidies, and healthy food choices in workplace cafeterias.
 
3. Creating a healthy organizational culture that fosters employee wellbeing, engagement and spirit at work. These are the management practices and strategies that focus on culture, leadership, relationships, and working conditions. Key factors include attitudes, values, respect, inclusion, recognition, meaningful work, communication and work-life balance or what some refer to as work-life fit.
 
Proactive organizations know that they can maximize their business performance by improving their work environment and investing in health programs for their employees.

At Kaizen Solutions, we work with organizations and employees to create positive, healthy workplaces that foster well-being and spirit at work. We know that the factors that contribute to a healthy workplace also contribute to employee spirit at work.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our monthly newsletter where we will explore this topic in more detail. Read the book Rethinking Your Work and learn how to create spirit at work.

Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” A consultant, agent of change and professional speaker, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. Check out her Spirit at Work Program and Inspired Leadership training at www.kaizensolutions.org. Val is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook. Available now at www.rethinkingyourwork.com.

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