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Believe in the significance of wellbeing. 

by Marissa Kalkman, Executive Director of WCWI
 

 

A WCWI Guiding Principle

Wellbeing is essential and it’s a right that should be afforded to all. We are at our best when we're grounded in our own wellbeing. WCWI catalyzes wellbeing in organizations as foundational, strategic, and systemic.

With more than 150 million Americans in the workforce and spending most of their waking hours working (that’s 72% of the adult population), centering the wellbeing of workers as an essential priority will directly benefit businesses and the community alike. The belief that wellbeing is significant has been a core driver of the Wellness Council of Wisconsin (WCWI) for 35 years. And this belief is a pillar of our service and support to our membership community. We work toward building and upholding employee wellbeing as a valued strategy and business priority. 

Let’s breakdown the elements of this guiding principle:

1. When we say that wellbeing is essential and it’s a right that should be afforded to all:
We understand that there are individual, social, and moral determinants that contribute to a person’s health and wellbeing. We recognize these complexities and we strive to support employers in creating inclusive and comprehensive strategies for all.

2. When we say that we are at our best when we’re grounded in our wellbeing:
We recognize what fulfills or impacts our own pursuit of wellbeing, and we know that a practice that supports it is vital to our work in supporting others.

3. When we say that we help employers catalyze wellbeing in their organization as foundational, strategic, and systemic.​ 
It looks like this:

  • Wellbeing is foundational. It has meaning; it’s important and deserving of attention. 
    In other words, it’s foundational to the livelihood of individuals, organizations, and communities and it is the base on which desired outcomes can flourish. Employers who catalyze wellbeing as foundational in their organizations understand, value, and encourage their employees with programs, resources, initiatives, time, and opportunities to pursue and fulfill their unique wellbeing needs and interests. 
     
  • Wellbeing is strategic. It has or is likely to have influence or effect.
    In other words, it is a part of the strategic fabric of an organization and an integrative approach to employee wellbeing will have reciprocal benefit not only for the employees, but through widespread organizational impact as well. Employers who catalyze wellbeing as strategic connect employee wellbeing to the organization’s core values, goals, and business priorities and they incorporate wellbeing as a focus for decision-making. Leaders consider how wellbeing will be harmed or supported when reviewing or making decisions about operations, workflows, team structures, job descriptions, promotions or leadership changes, policies, benefits, and more.
     
  • Wellbeing is systemic. It is of, or relating to, observations that are unlikely to occur by chance and that indicate a systematic cause. In other words, wellbeing is impacted by larger systems – it cannot be slio-ed or addressed in a vacuum. Employers who catalyze wellbeing as systemic commit to the understanding that the spheres of influence that impact their employees’ wellbeing are deep, inter-connected, and unique. For example, wellbeing is impacted by an individual’s choices, behaviors, and habits – however those individual behaviors and habits are often influenced or hindered or encouraged by more than the individual alone. Catalyzing wellbeing as systemic means that employers understand their workforce: the community and environment in which they live, the socio-economic circumstances, cultural backgrounds, and more. Acknowledging these influences, employers align wellbeing with their strategies for equity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility efforts, community partnerships, public health strategies, and the appropriate expert guidance to contribute to impacting the wellbeing of not only their own workforce, but of their larger communities.
What resonates with you about this guiding principle? If you’d like to dive in deeper and explore these elements together or if you’re ready to co-create a plan to further develop the significance of wellbeing at your organization, connect with a WCWI Coach.

 

3 Actions & 9 Resources to Help You  Connect to the Significance of Wellbeing:

Foundational Action: Ground yourself in your own wellbeing. Form a Contemplative Practice as a wellbeing leader that connects you to your purpose and your people. Commit to the continuous internal work of self-inquiry to shift your perceptions and behaviors in ways that positively impact your work.

3 Resources to support your learning and practice: 

Strategic Action: Explore how wellbeing is impacted or affected across the employee experience. Embed the question into your mindset: “how does this impact wellbeing?” and consider this question as you make decisions, as you have conversations with colleagues, and as you review the common practices of the work experience for your people.  

3 Resources to support your learning and practice:

Systemic Action: Consider assembling an internal leadership task force across functional, operational, and interdisciplinary representation. This inter-disciplinary leadership team should represent human resources, employee assistance, occupational health and safety, talent development and recruitment, operations, compensation and benefits, corporate social responsibility, community affairs, health and wellness, sustainability, and more. There is power in examining the problems and innovating solutions together.

3 Resources to support your learning and practice: 

 
Marissa Kalkman, MS, MCHES
Executive Director
mkalkman@wellnesscouncilwi.org
Learn more about me.

Wisconsin's Latest in Employee Wellbeing

 

 

By Mail: P.O. Box 524 Brookfield, WI 53008-0524

By Email: wcwi@wellnesscouncilwi.org.

By Phone: 262.254.7888

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