Employee Wellness means more than just Good Health by Shea Heaver

An Apple a Day...

Workplace Wellness programs are all the rage these days – and rightly so.

You don't need to be a doctor, analyst or accountant to realize that healthier employees are going to take less sick days and be more productive while at work....which obviously helps the bottom-line.

And it's also true that for many employees, a healthier body also leads to less stress, emotional well-being and a happier mindset.

Simply put, a fit and healthy workforce makes good business sense.

True wellness transcends the physical condition alone

Many companies are offering fantastic opportunities to improve physical wellbeing through initiatives such as;

  • on-site physical and medical assessments
  • weight management programs
  • healthy snacks and pot lunches
  • smoking cessation assistance
  • exercise or yoga groups

Indeed many offer incentives such as free (or heavily discounted) wearables, cookbooks, pedometers, water bottles, healthy snacks, etc...

Coupled with technology solutions from companies like Virgin Pulse, Limeade, Welltok, ShapeUp and more, these programs become more sustainable and embedded into the culture of the organization.

So, let's talk about that Organizational Culture for a moment.

If we agree that

  • (a) it "eats strategy for breakfast" (Drucker and others)


  • (b) it is defined (in various outlets) as "The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization"

we start to see the value and magnitude of emotional health and psychosomatic wellness.

Impact of diminished emotional health

A weak workplace culture is rife with employee disengagement, poor workplace relationships, office stress and staff dysfunction. These are the major cause of inefficiency, conflict, turnover and overall lower productivity in most organizations. Various statistics show that;

Dr. Dan Dana (president of Mediation Training Institute International) states that "Over 65% of performance problems result from strained relationships between employees—not from deficits in individual employees' skill."

These 'People Problems' are very costly with Gallup estimating disengagement costs the US economy over $450 billion annually. Try this handy online calculator to see what it's costing your organization.

In addition to what goes on from 9:00 - 5:00, if we have a bad day at work we tend to bring that home with us and hence affect family and personal lives.

Mens sana in corpore sano

If you have employees with a healthy mind in a health body, you have great potential for success

In addition to improving physical health, to really boost employee engagement, morale and productivity it is critical to work on the emotional aspects.

Today's workforce wants to

  • be empowered to find solutions
  • engage in open feedback and discussion
  • manage differences to find collaborative solutions (rather than them turn into conflicts)
  • feel valued <- this above all

An empowered, valued and engaged worker will make better decisions - because they care more.

Most parents will tell you that they strive to raise healthy kids. But it's their relationship and connection with them as individuals that really drives their achievements and successes. The same holds true in the workplace.

Any of us can read the nutrition label on a health bar or the instructions to a stationary bike. But each human is unique and not one of us comes with a user guide - hence the importance of getting to know what makes someone tick.

So next time you're reaching for that apple (rather than a bag of chips) at work, why not also make a point of saying 'can I help you' or 'does this work for you' or simply 'thank you' to a fellow employee.


The Business Transformation Network has posted this article in partnership with Satisfaction at Work.


Shea Heaver was born in England but grew up, was educated and started his career in Northern Ireland before moving to South Florida in the mid 1990s.

Drawing on his years of management experience in the global IT field, he became a passionate promoter of a people-centric culture to improve organizational performance.  Through his work in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, etc... he increasingly realized that individuals who feel valued lead to teams that are motivated, innovative and highly productive.

He founded Satisfaction At Work, with a focus on helping organizations achieve higher Employee Engagement, improve Leadership, increase Job Satisfaction and build better Workplace Relationships.