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A Comprehensive Company Wellness Program Also Includes Career Wellness

Categories: Professional Development

wheelAs we’re wrapping up month two of the new year, I wonder if you’ve started working on your personal wellness program?

Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to tap resources that your company offers – compensation for weight loss programs or even on-site gym access?

That may not be all that your employer now offers ...

More and more firms are increasing their comprehensive wellness program offerings to employees, recognizing that healthy and happy employees are productive employees.

Let’s look at the term, “comprehensive wellness program.” I’d imagine most people take that to mean information about diet, exercise, stress-management, perhaps even preventative healthcare.

But, what about job and career wellness?

There’s no denying that people’s jobs take up a large percentage of their lives and energy — mental, emotional, and physical -- and they can be a leading cause of stress, the guaranteed enemy of wellness.

A career may cause stress particularly if people feel like it’s stalled – that they aren’t getting the promotions they deserve at work, their voice isn’t being heard, they can’t seem to get their ideas across at meetings, or they believe that they’re not making a meaningful contribution.

These scenarios are not good for employees’ health -- nor the health of a business.

Many studies have been done that reflect the most effective approach to wellness includes integration of seven aspects of a person's well-being: physical, emotional, intellectual, occupational, environmental, social, and spiritual wellness. Some research also adds an eighth essential category, financial wellness.

Let's take a further look at the occupational aspect ...

According to the website Interact for Health, $200 million in federal money is available for small businesses to create comprehensive wellness programs for employees.

To qualify, businesses must:
• Have no more than 100 employees who work 25 hours or more per week
• Not have a wellness program
• Use the grant for a comprehensive wellness program

Even larger companies who may not qualify for federal funds recognize the impact of professional development on employee well-being, by setting aside funding for wellness programs that include training/coaching.

It’s obvious when you read this article “The 46 Healthiest Companies to Work for in America,” that professional development is a key part of many successful companies’ wellness programs.

The writer profiles such successful organizations like Mayo Clinic, SAS, Cisco Systems, GE, Wegmans, TIAA-CREF, Epic, Bright Horizons and Cancer Treatment Centers of America. J.M. Smucker Company, Zappos and Burton.

According to this article, at CISCO, “To stay up on their game, 80 percent of employees participate in professional development and education programs.”

Here are some more guidelines about the new federal grant money, as appropriated under the Health Care Reform Bill ... it defines a comprehensive wellness program as one that:

1. Helps you learn more about your health and how to stay healthy

2. Encourages you to participate

3. Helps you change your behavior through counseling, seminars, online programs and helpful materials

4. Encourages you to eat healthy, get more exercise and improve your mental health

Many BRODY programs would qualify under these guidelines (especially numbers two and three). This new bill offers a phenomenal opportunity for small business owners who apply for and receive these grants. So, looking for a good development fit to add to your firm’s wellness program?

Let’s look at one BRODY resource that can help with career wellness ... Leadership Presence: Inspire Trust, Confidence & Credibility.

This interactive program helps participants to ...
• Be present in the moment to help control emotions and increase flexibility
• Create connections and enhance relationships through listening and empathy
• Project confidence through body language and voice
• Present themselves and their ideas with impact and presence
• Frame their communication for better outcomes
• Think on their feet, while projecting credibility and poise
• Be inspirational — move others to purpose, to embrace change and to do great things

Does this sound like something that can enhance your team’s mental and emotional wellness -- not to mention, the wellness of your firm?

Another BRODY offering that I think would be fantastic for wellness efforts is our new Learning Burst Series, launching this April. This series would be facilitated in-house, with a different topic each month. It’s fantastic for businesses who don’t have the time or can’t spare their employees for longer, more concentrated training programs. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting new series.

So, the next time you are applying for a wellness grant, or already have a budget set aside for such programs, why limit the benefits to only physical wellness? After all, we are multi-faceted beings; don’t we deserve wellness on every level?

This year, National Workplace Wellness Week is April 7-11, 2014, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. What are you going to do for your team?

Talk about a great ROI – investing in employee development can yield great results for their wellness and impact the “health” of your bottom line.

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