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For years, there has been a steady growth of companies integrating wellness initiatives into the workplace. However, in light of recent staffing changes, employees working from home, and economic uncertainty, many of these initiatives have taken a back seat, leaving workplace culture woefully neglected. Now, as many organizations seek operational solutions to open back up safely and efficiently, they can’t neglect the importance of evolving workplace culture. Prioritizing wellness is crucial for both employers and employees to move forward and prosper in harmony. Whether you’re heading back to the office, still working from home, or anywhere in-between, now is the time to champion the restoration of wellness in workplace culture.

Step 1: Conduct Wellness Assessments

First, organizations must shift from being reactive about COVID-19 to proactively understanding the internal challenges employees are facing. Wellness assessments are wonderful ways to display empathy by focusing attention on the feelings and emotions of the workforce. Leadership can administer these assessments company-wide and then follow up with employees in smaller group sessions.

Step 2: Share and Discuss Key Learnings

Transparency is imperative to building trust throughout this process. Sharing key learnings from wellness assessments in open forums will demonstrate that leadership is committed to addressing the issues at hand. This is also the time to invite employees into the process of building a culture of wellness, so it’s not only driven from the top down, but also from the bottom up.

Step 3: Form a Wellness Committee

This specialized team will lead the charge of turning key learnings into an actionable vision to transform organizational culture. Once aligned on the vision, ideation should take place to identify simple yet meaningful wellness initiatives and roll-out plans. To avoid creating plans that are unwieldy and difficult to manage, limit desired initiatives to three.

Step 4: Announce the Culture Shifts

How the initiatives are shared is just as important as what they are. An announcement should be made to all members, including remote and satellite offices, so everyone feels connected and informed. Members of the Wellness Committee can outline key learnings from wellness assessments, the new vision, and core initiatives to restore workplace culture. Organizations should treat this like a meaningful launch by creating tools and assets and pushing out communications across internal channels.

Step 5: Implement, Listen, and Learn

Restoring wellness in the workplace isn’t about flipping a switch but rather embedding it into the fabric of day-to-day operations. After the first 30 to 90 days, companies should develop a feedback system where employees can share their thoughts and feelings on how the new initiatives are impacting workplace culture. Leadership should share success stories, invite suggestions, and expand the Wellness Committee, so new perspectives are welcomed and championed, continuing to refine the process as they go.

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