A Wellness Reset for 2023Jan 06, 2023
Over the past three years, employees across the globe have experienced a decline in overall wellbeing and health. According to LifeWorks’ Mental Health Index Report, mental health scores related to anxiety, isolation, depression, and work productivity have fallen since the beginning of the pandemic, with only moderate improvements in the past couple years. The report suggests that 45% of Canadians have a moderate mental health risk and over 30% have a high mental risk1.
What we’re continuing to see is fallout from the pandemic, which many experts earlier predicted as an “echo pandemic” that would impact mental health for years to come. The health effects have rippled across businesses, causing a need for many to re-evaluate their health and wellness programs. For some organizations, it may be time for a “wellness reset” to set up employees for a new year of health and productivity.
Impacts of Our New Way of Working
The “new way of working” has caused many shifts in our overall health and wellness. Socially and emotionally, there has been less social interaction, more isolation, and reduced closeness between team members. Employees may still grieve over the loss of “the way things used to be” or experience burnout from difficulties setting boundaries between work and home. Cognitively, some employees may be feeling burnt out or having trouble with focusing due to longer working hours, a change in environment, or working while unwell. Physical health, too, has changed since the rise of hybrid and remote work, as physical movement decreased and injury due to home workstation set-ups increased.
Over the past two years, employees’ priorities have shifted to recognize the importance of health and wellbeing. The demand for wellness offerings and better benefits has increased, with 34% of employees reporting that these are the most important factors when choosing an employer.1 Those who don’t invest in mental health supports could see the impact in their staff retention as employees, especially younger employees, leave their jobs in search of those with better benefits.
How to Develop a Wellness Plan
Ensuring that employees are in good health and have a high quality of life has great benefits to the individual as well as to the organization. Employees deliver their best performances when they are healthy and happy. A wellness plan can encourage employees to make healthy choices, achieve work-life balance, and become more engaged in the workplace. Prioritizing physical and mental wellness can come in a few different forms:
- Wellness events (walking challenges, mental health days, resilience programs, etc.)
- Services (ergonomic assessments, success coaching, etc.)
- Resources (EAP, benefits, training programs, etc.)
The key to success in any wellness program is participation from employees. Ensure that you are seeking input from employees while developing your program so that their voices are being heard and their needs are being met. Some ideas to increase participation include the following2:
- Create a wellness committee
- Create employee surveys to determine needs
- Develop a plan for communication of program offerings, benefits, and success stories
- Gain support and participation from leadership
- Create low cost and easily accessible programs
- Connect with health partners who can help support your team
- Offer individual and team programs
- Create initiatives that can be done during work hours
- Create a healthy work environment that supports overall wellness initiatives
Gowan Consulting’s team of health and productivity experts can help you build a wellness program to suit your organization’s needs. You can view a list of some our customizable training programs or book a free consultation with us to get started on developing a unique wellness solution for your team.
Impact of Employee Success Coaching
In order to make a change and implement new habits, employees need to have a coach that will guide, support, and hold them accountable for change. Occupational Therapy Success Coaching is an excellent addition to any new wellness program. Our Occupational Therapists have additional training in psychotherapy to address employee challenges with mental health. With the support of a coach, each employee can set individualized goals for wellness and develop an action plan that will lead to sustainable new habits. Your team will see the positive impacts of working 1:1 with a coach while being able to access your wellness offerings in the organization. Help your employees get a kickstart on their wellbeing this year – contact us to learn more about this service!
How Can Gowan Consulting Help?
- Get started on building your wellness program by getting feedback from our team! Book a time in one of our calendars to chat.
- Our Occupational Therapy Success Coaching and mental health support services are grounded in CBT and behavioural change principles in order to build resilience and maximize employee strengths. Enable your team’s optimal function at work by making a referral to an Occupational Therapist today.
- We provide customized training programs for organizations – some topics we can cover include mental health, stress management, communication, boundary setting, and more. Contact us to customize a training for your team.
- Our online training programs are available for your team to start anytime so they can get on-demand learning about a variety of topics, where and when they need them.
 LifeWorks. (October 2022). The Mental Health Index by LifeWorks. Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://us.lifeworks.com/resource/mental-health-indextm-report-october-2022
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, August 24). Engaging Employees in Their Health and Wellness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved January 4, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/initiatives/resource-center/case-studies/engage-employees-health-wellness.html