It is common for us to hear about toxic work environments but seldom do we discuss how to cultivate a culture of wellness in the workplace. Many companies and corporations promote and sponsor physical wellness activities. It is important to remember that wellness is beyond just our physical wellness. Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI), developed the “Six Dimensions of Wellness” model, which includes physical, emotional, spiritual, social, occupational, and intellectual wellness. The NWI developed three questions to help persons and organizations assess how wellness is incorporated into approaches or activities:
- Does this help people achieve their full potential?
- Does this recognize and address the whole person?
- Does this affirm and mobilize people’s positive qualities and strengths?
Perhaps you wonder why a company or large corporation would be interested in developing a culture of wellness at work? Unhealthy work environments result in high levels of absenteeism and employee turnover. Additionally, an unhealthy work environment can impair cognitive function and impact productivity on the individual employee level. So, investment in creating a culture of wellness is great for personal growth and is also a great business development strategy. A practical way to begin creating a culture of wellness is the development of positive working relationships within an atmosphere of psychological safety. This can be accomplished by establishing a culture of open communication where it is safe to ask for help. Admission of a mistake should not automatically result in punitive actions. Instead, view mistakes as an opportunity for both individual and corporate growth and development.