I have an issue with using the word ‘Wellness’ and I rarely (if ever) use it in any of my materials. It’s not an offensive word, so you might be thinking why would I have an issue with it?
It’s because it’s limiting.
When I hear ‘Wellness’, I automatically think of it as being the opposite of unwell and at best you are doing ok. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as ‘the state of being healthy’.
I often come across ‘Wellness’ in the context of corporate health and wellness programmes where organisations have programmes to help their employees manage their physical and mental health. These programmes are a step in the right direction and many organisations do an outstanding job. It’s a win-win for employees and employers. If the workforce is ‘well’ then there will be less illness, productivity will be higher and staff retention will increase.
However, it’s still limiting, if you are ‘well and healthy’ both physically and mentally then you have reached your goal.
What if employees were given the tools and techniques to operate at their very best at work and their personal lives? This takes the employees beyond wellness and healthy as the baseline and enables them to be the best they can be at work and in their personal lives.
Getting the very best out of the employees is going to result in great outcomes for the organisation because the employees will:
- Maximise their energy levels – all day and all week energy
- Improve decision making
- Identify and mitigate stress – build resilience
- Improve their cognition, focus and problem-solving skills
- Create a balance between work, their personal life and their own health
- Develop and maintain healthy relationships in and out of work
When employees are operating at their very best and given the opportunities to grow it has a positive benefit on the bottom line and grows the organisation. Employees sell more, they solve problems creatively, they become advocates for the brand and accelerate their progression within the organisation.
It sounds great but how is it possible?
Organisations need to look beyond wellness and create programmes of work that not only keep people ‘healthy and well’ but also give their employees an opportunity to accelerate their personal and professional performance.