Worksite Wellness Organizational Supports

Does your workplace support your health and wellbeing?

The idea of worksite wellness has been around for a while now, but this may be a new concept to new employees. To those just getting familiar with worksite wellness, it is a promotional program or activity taking place within a worksite that focuses on a wellness themed topic. Generally, the goal is to adjust an employee’s intellectual, physical and emotional wellbeing; looking out for the health of others. The way a worksite or organization is structured can support or discourage a worksite wellness program or activities.

Organizational support can include management and leadership support, environmental support, policies or system supports such as health insurance benefits. An example may include a breastfeeding friendly lactation room for the expression of breastmilk. This can provide a setting that is comfortable, secluded and may provide areas for washing equipment as well as the storage of breastmilk. In addition, offering a policy that allows for break time to express milk would be included.

Other examples of organizational supports may include:

  • Annual organizational objectives for worksite health promotion
  • Having at least one champion or advocate for your worksite health promotion program
  • An annual budget or dedicated funding for worksite health promotion
  • A paid health promotion coordinator
  • A worksite wellness committee within the workplace
  • Offer access to an employee assistance program
  • A policy that gives employees paid time off or flexible scheduling around work duties to allow attendance at work-sponsored health promotion activities/programs that are scheduled during work hours.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a worksite that supports an employee in meeting their health and wellness goals. A healthy worksite is more likely to result in a happy, productive and retained workforce. Michigan State University Extension offers Worksite Wellness to Michigan workplaces. Visit msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/worksite_wellness for health and nutrition programs and educational opportunities.

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