By: Michigan Wellness Council
TRAINING – November 6, 2018:
Workplace Wellness That Works
(Day 1 Of Two-Day Conference)
Part 1 of a 10-Part Series
(This is Step 1, out of 10 Steps, derived from Laura’s book, Workplace Wellness That Works. She will be outlining 10 steps to improve upon how we’re designing and delivering workplace wellness.)
For a deeper dive, join Laura Putnam on November 6th in Troy, MI for a day-long Workplace Wellness That Works training session. In the meantime, share your thoughts on promoting health and well-being in the workplace!
PART 1: No matter what your stance is on gun control (Laura happens to be a big advocate for it), there’s no arguing that the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have wielded enormous influence on changing gun control policies on local, state and federal levels. While there are plenty of gun control experts out there, it’s agents of change like Emma Gonzalez who are changing hearts and minds.
Just like these students, your first task in promoting well-being in your organization will be to persuade – and the way to do so is to shift your mindset from expert to agent of change. While experts inform us and even guide us, agents of change move us. And, that’s exactly what you’ll need to be doing a lot of.
Here are 3 ways you can do exactly that:
- Know your why.Behind every great agent of change is a strong sense of purpose. What’s so moving about the students leading the fight against gun violence is their unwavering sense of purpose. What’s yours? Knowing your “why” is foundational to becoming an effective agent of change.
2. Move people on an emotional level.As every advertiser knows, it’s emotions that move people – not facts. One of the best ways that you can appeal to emotions is by telling stories. According to an informal study conducted by a Stanford professor, 5 out of 100 will likely remember a statistic, whereas 63 out of 100 are likely to remember a story. So, build your story bank!
3. Then make the business case. Now, it’s time to think about making the business case for wellness. Here are some pointers to help you convince even your most resistant CFO about the value of promoting well-being in the workplace:
- Presenteeism: Remind your decision makers that the biggest cost related to poor health and well-being is something called “presenteeism,” which means showing up in body but not in mind. Evidence suggests that the productivity losses associated with presenteeism account for 63% of total costs related to poor health and well-being.
- Safety: Health and well-being go hand in hand with safety. Remember, it’s called the “Health and Safety Act” not the “Health or Safety Act!” Total Worker Health, spearheaded by NIOSH, is an initiative to bring the two together.
- Depression: According to a recent WHO Study, depression is now the number one cause of disability worldwide. Finding meaningful ways to address mental well-being in the workplace is critical for the individual, as well as for the larger organization.
- Organizational Performance: Finally, a recent study, corroborated by two subsequent studies, found a correlation between companies that invest in comprehensive well-being programs and how they perform on the stock market.
- Crystalize your pitch. Finally, you’ll need to think about your “elevator pitch.” How can sell your movement in 30 seconds or less? In coming up with your pitch, I encourage you to connect well-being with a higher purpose, such as making the world a better place or helping our children to regain 5 years they’re likely to lose if we don’t do something about the raging tidal wave of poor health and well-being. Here’s a pitch I often use:
It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do and it starts with you.
If you want to move people – much like an agent of change – think less about starting a program, and more about starting a movement.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Putnam is the award-winning author of the #1 Amazon Hot New Release in HR & Personnel Management book, Workplace Wellness That Works, and founder of Motion Infusion, a leading provider of well-being and human performance speaking and training services. Her work has been covered by MSNBC, The New York Times, US News & World Report, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and NPR. Learn more about Laura at her website and follow her on LinkedIn.