I walked into a national sporting goods store and saw a Nike tee shirt with the phase "Strong is the new beautiful". Up until then, I never thought about health in that way especially in my workplace. With so much media attention paid to an "image" of beauty and strength, we sometimes lose focus on what strength can truly be in other life areas and how it impacts us at the work.
I stopped to think if I was developing strength in the five areas of strategic wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social and occupational. What is the workplace wellness definition of these areas? How does this impact my productivity, morale and health? Where are my strengths in each area and how can I leverage them?
Am I working towards building muscles of endurance and productivity? If not, let's get to the big "why" and begin to develop a transformation action plan. We'll start by defining each corporate wellness area and perform a quick "yes or no" assessment of where we are today.
Physical Wellness - Recognizing the value of proper nutrition and exercise while reducing the number of sick days. Taking preventive measures to curtail possible health related issues like high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease.
- Do I have strong muscles to lift and bend? Can I stretch and just plain move?
- Am I exercising at least three times per week for 30 minutes or more?
- Do I walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day?
- Have I consumed 80 - 90% of my week's worth of food in a nutritious way?
- Do I change up my exercise routine to challenge my body and remove boredom?
- Do I maintain regular health appointments, screenings and vaccinations to prevent illness an injury?
Emotional Wellness - Understanding a broad range of feelings while learning how to express them in a way that maintains the relationship with others and builds our own self-esteem. Coping with challenges and workplace change in a positive and healthy way.
- Do I have more positive relationships than negative ones?
- Am I successfully working through workplace challenges to reach a win-win solution?
- Do I take work issues personally?
- Do I feel good about who I'm and where I'm going?
- Do I regularly dust out the cobwebs of any emotional issues and take measures to heal past hurts?
Intellectual Wellness - Learning from past experiences and challenges while seeking intellectual growth and creative activities. Expanding our knowledge base to develop better decision making skills.
- Do I set goals for myself professionally as well as personally?
- Do I focus on the task at hand to get the job done?
- Do I clearly process and evaluate each problem to reach a clear results-oriented solution?
- Am I open minded and willing to see things from a different point of view?
Am I a continual learner by attending free webinar's, reading, blogging, joining online user groups for support and inspiration and attending professional development classes? Social Wellness - Developing healthy behaviors and positive interactions with others in our professional environment. Establishing a social network system that builds bridges of understanding.
- Do I make deliberate time to connect with others face to face in my workplace?
- Have I practiced effective listening skills and show empathy when appropriate?
- Am I maintaining a positive attitude regardless of the situation?
- Do I promote healthy, positive communication with my co-workers?
- Do I deliberately take breaks and lunch and use that time to connect with others?
Occupational Wellness - Gaining personal satisfaction and enrichment from my work while maintaining a healthy balance. Managing stress levels to deal with change in a positive manner while being flexible to meet the demands of the job.
- Do I strive to gain professional training to increase my talents and skills as well as my confidence?
- Do I belong to groups and associations that provide me with professional contacts and friendships?
- Do I exhibit the personal qualities of a valuable employee?
- Have I learned ways to reduce stress on the job and practice it regularly?
- Do I understand my strengths and weakness and how to leverage them for my organization?
If you've answered "no" in any of the strategic wellness areas it time for a workplace wellness tune up. Since we know where we are today, we can begin to create an action plan to strengthen ourselves for the immediate and long term future.Action is strength in motion. Here are five easy steps follow.
- List all the questions answered "no".
- Force rank them from 1 to 10 in regards to their importance to your current position and organization.
- Pick the first two and begin to research what it takes to turn that "no" into a "yes".
- Deliberately put these skills into action for the next 30 consecutive days and track your results on paper.
- At the end of 30 days, check your results and either work to improve the areas or begin the process again for the next items on the list.
In one year, you will have gained at least 12 new areas of workplace wellness strength. Your new found skill has turned into a habit. What would that mean to you and your family? What would it mean to your organization? How much healthier would you feel about yourself, your direction at work and where you're going in life?
Strong is the new beautiful. When we exhibit these new strength areas we show it in cooperation, confidence, productivity, positive attitude and the attributes of a valued employee. Our organization has gained a productive and results-oriented associate. We gain health and wellness for the long term.
About the Author
Sandra Larkin, CWPM - Sandra Larkin is the President of Sandra Larkin Wellness Strategies, LLC, and a Certified Wellness Program Manager. Sandra's passion for corporate wellness program development, implementation and management, provides the highly experienced platform for corporate and individual wellness programs to achieve profit focused objectives.
She maintains key partnerships in her global strategic network of wellness professionals that provide her client base with a distinct competitive advantage. Sandra is a motivational speaker on health and wellness in the workplace. Her professional qualifications include: Certified Wellness Program Manager Certification, Professional Coaching and Corporate Facilitation Certifications, Bachelor Of Science in Business Administration and over 20 years of corporate experience.
Sandra is the publisher and author of "Healthy Profits: The 5 Elements of Strategic Wellness In The Workplace", www.healthyprofitsbook.com, a resource for employees and businesses who are working to create healthier and more productive workplaces. In addition to her professional qualifications, Sandra has a personal passion for corporate wellness.
Her approach to workplace wellness, while grounded in her professional training and experience, is motivated by her personal commitment to corporate culture climate change to increase the health and well being of individuals and their companies.
This motivation was sparked by her personal experience of having to resign her lucrative corporate position due to on the job stress related health challenges. She focused her energy on helping organizations and their people stay healthy while thriving and surviving in a corporate environment.
Sandra is a contributing author for the upcoming book "Find Your Passion" as well as a mentor and daily contributor to The Broke Wives Club, and Wellsphere.com. Sandra's training and seminar attendees are rewarded by becoming a member of the exclusive Graduate Rubber Ducky Club. Sandra Larkin, CWPFMCertified Wellness Program ManagerSandra Larkin Wellness Strategies, LLC(815) email@example.com