Workplace wellness – how much can HR really do?

How far can HR professionals go to improve the wellbeing of employees throughout their organisation?

Our bodies are finely tuned machines, but we tend to drive them into the ground, ignore warning signs and generally treat them poorly. What if HR could tap into a whole workforce of finely tuned, healthy and active employees?

Neurological, biological and psychological data shows us that we have prioritised our workloads and our success far above our mental and physical wellness. As a result, we have become disconnected with the fundamentals of how the human body functions.

This is having an impact on our ability to solve complex problems, come up with new ideas, and push the boundaries for our capability. Unsurprisingly, this is also inflating our levels of stress and anxiety.

HR should consider the following actions to improve wellness in their workforce:
  • Identify ‘wellness champions’ in senior roles
  • Promote positive wellness behaviours with targeted, evidence-based workshops
  • Track wellness factors throughout the year to assess risks and celebrate success
  • Train team leaders to promote and facilitate wellness across their teams
  • Have an integrated corporate wellness plan and measure its effectiveness
  • Have fun with it!
Employees, meanwhile, should be encouraged to:
  • Get a complete body diagnostic from an integrative doctor to understand their nutritional needs
  • Get moving every 45 minutes
  • Connect with positive people face-to-face
  • Book a mini break away
  • Remove smart technology from the bedroom and replace it with a good alarm clock (no snooze)
  • Wake up at the same time each morning and get their bodies to some natural light
  • Find a hobby that allows them to unplug and unwind
  • Share their plan with someone
  • The more stressed they are, the more they do these things – not less
  • Set a reminder to review their place once a week for six weeks
About the author

Christopher Paterson is the managing director of ALCHEMY Career Management, a firm that supports individuals to transition their career, assists companies adapting to organisational change, and delivers Wellness@Work programs for any organisation wanting to help staff to be at their best.

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