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Workplace Wellbeing

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Key Message:
Formal support from the top is crucial to ensure acquisition of sufficient resources & sustainability of the initiative, and for employees to be aware of the company’s commitment to their health.

Before beginning the hands-on development of your wellbeing programme, a crucial step is gaining commitment from management and major stakeholders. This step is needed in order to obtain necessary funding and resources but also plays a critical role in transforming the culture of your workplace into one that openly recognises employee health as a core value of the enterprise.

To ensure sustainability of this commitment, a comprehensive wellness policy should be embedded into your workplace strategic plan and communicated to all employees by the highest authority.

“There is evidence that the most successful programs are those that have widespread support from the CEO or senior management team”

Australian Healthy Workers Initiative

“This stage is very important, as it sets the scope of the health improvement programme, establishes the structures to run the programme and integrates the programme with existing organisational policies, practices and structures”

WRC Tools and Techniques Manual

But what do you do if the top managers don’t seem that interested in your healthy workplace plans?

We know this step can be particularly difficult, so here are some tips from the evidence base…

When gaining support:

  • Identify a manager or team leader who is willing to lead by example and “make things happen”
  • Provide a rationale and identify how the programme would benefit the workplace by making the business case (e.g., return on investment, worker loyalty, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, reduced costs etc.)
  • Align the wellbeing programme to the core values and short- and long-term strategic goals of the organisation
  • Outline the programme and its overall goals
  • Use case studies to highlight successes in other workplaces
  • Formally acknowledge these commitments to employees


Quick Summary of Step 1

We know all this information can be a bit overwhelming, so we summarised the key points in Step 1 – Gain & Demonstrate Support. The details are important but we hope these quick summaries makes it easier to digest.

Checklist for Step 1

We developed this checklist to help you stay on track. It encapsulates all the advice we offered as part of Step 1 – Gain & Demonstrate Support.

HRB Healthy Workplace Tools

If you’d like to dive deep into the research, this study is for you. The Health Research Board in Dublin consolidated information from five countries that are the leading in terms of Healthy Workplace supports. You’ll find here a comprehensive …

WHO Healthy Workplace Framework

Key experts in the World Health Organization developed this comprehensive model to create a health-promoting workplace. The advice throughout this website is a reflection of this thorough framework.

ENWHP Guidelines for Healthy Organisations

The European Network for Workplace Health Promotion is an excellent source for guidance within the European context. This resource also includes information on how to make the business case for prioritising wellbeing in your organisation.