If you’re ready to bring a culture of wellness into your company, say it like you mean it. This is different than the times you wrote yourself a note, “20 push ups every morning!” and taped it to your mirror. It is not an email that goes out once a year about your wellness day, or a 5k that 10 of your team members do in the fall. To truly create a culture of wellness, you must go much deeper. Commit elevating your employee’s well-being into your company values in order to make it an inherent factor in your company’s decisions.
Committing wellness into your company values is a very powerful move on many levels. Core values are the backbone of your company’s actions. This is because values are like a set of laws, or morals, that your team, all the way from the executives to your new hires, will abide by. Too often wellness gets left out of this backbone. So many employees go to work and stop living the healthy, inspired, energized lives they imagine for themselves. Work becomes a place where we put our well-being on hold. Did you ever stop to listen to how people talk about going to work? “I have work tomorrow, but when I get home I’m going to go to the gym,” or, “If I didn’t work so much I’d be able to eat healthier, but this summer I’m really going to start.”
Most people go to work and stop living well.
Yet the best brands to work for elevate their teams. And they don’t need to tell you about their healthy culture; you already know. Take Google, for example. According to their website, “We’re constantly searching for unique ways to improve the health and happiness of our Googlers. And it doesn’t stop there--our hope is that, ultimately, you become a better person by working here.” Employees at Google get access to sleeping pods, on-site health care, and learning opportunities of all kinds. People idealize working for them not just for the work, but for the experience of having a high quality of life. Therefore, in Google’s case, recruiting the best talent is a natural circumstance of this epic work environment.
In Jim Collins’ highly acclaimed book “Good To Great,” he highlights the strength that making employees a committed priority can bring to an organization in a case study about the steel company Nucor. Nucor was competing to be the top steel producer in the world, and they did one thing differently that gave them an unbeatable competitive edge. They made strong employee support a non-negotiable ingredient. The results of this commitment was astounding. While their main industry competitor was suffering from strikes, Nucor’s employees chased union organizers out of the building because they were so loyal to their company.
Imagine if your organization had that kind of retention power. There would be less turnover and re-training of new employees, greater efficiencies from long-term team members who have the opportunity to make breakthrough innovations after years of understanding the company mechanics, and more.
If you increase the quality of life of your team, you’ll find that they will increase the quality of your company. Commit employee wellness into your company’s core values. When it’s time to make decisions about benefits, amenities, re-orgs, expansion plans, furniture, workplace policies, etc., this commitment will steer you in the right direction every time.