Culture really does mean everything. At RivalHealth we can identify a successful client very early in our conversation with a few simple questions on how they view wellness. These questions help us understand the culture
of the company, support from their executive team and middle management and their thoughts on investing in their most important asset – their team. Sadly, we encounter organizations that just don’t care – they view employee health as a nuisance, somethingtheir insurance provider deals with. They have no interest in the happiness of their people, nor the impact this happiness can have on the success of their company.
Not to despair, we find more companies that have genuine interest in employee health but they are searching for the right solution. Despite interest, they may not have a culture that fosters employee health. So what are the keys to a culture of health?
1. A garden mentality = culture doesn’t happen, it takes time to “cultivate”. When a garden is planted the goal is a healthy crop but there are steps to take to get started, to water and fertilize along the way, protect the crop and cultivate it. This process repeats itself every year. Recognize that you need a goal (healthy employees),you need a plan to get started, a groundbreaking ceremony and a lot of TLC along the way to insure the goal is met.
2. Take the first step = This doesn’t mean that because the CEO is a marathon runner everyone is on board. Most people will never run amarathon. How can this obviously fit CEO translate their passion to their team? By meeting them where they are and fostering a working environment that offers employees the ability to choose how they want to engage in fitness. They must understand it doesn’t happen overnight. It took months of training before the CEO ran their first marathon, then years to become good at it. Same with any culture transformation.
Listen to your employees, find out their fears, interests, goals and build programs around these areas so employees can engage at the right time and align to their personal needs. Don’t start with assessments, start with a simple survey that solicits your teams input, not their biomarkers. Take the first step and start small; recognizing it may not meet everyone’s needs, but be honest and communicate that this is a long-term strategy and the first of many programs to come.