Jan 26 2015 | Julianne McLaughlin

A happy employee is a productive employee! It’s well known that a positive workplace culture can play an important role in the overall well-being of your employees. Physically, emotionally and mentally, if your employees are well-balanced and their health is your priority, the result will be a mutual respect and appreciation that benefits all. Many employers fail to see the difference between an all-encompassing workplace wellness culture and a few workplace programs offered sporadically throughout the year.

So how can your company get to a full wellness culture?

Ask your employees. Do you know what your employees’ top wellness concerns are? A simple online survey can be a real eye-opener.

Look at the data. If possible, evaluate employee health care and prescription costs. You may be surprised to see what’s really happening with your employees’ health.

Walk the walk. Do you want employees to eat healthier and lose weight? Then don’t offer donuts and at meetings or have soda and candy vending machines in the break room. If you want employees to make good choices, offer them.

Plan and prepare. Instead of slapping together programs haphazardly, set up a wellness calendar for the year. Choose a wellness topic each month and center your initiatives around that topic.

Review your policies. Once a year do an audit of your wellness and employee assistance programs. What’s working? What’s not? Sometimes employee programs don’t always have the outcomes we expect and may need to be adjusted or revamped.

Communicate. If you have fantastic wellness programs, do your employees know about them? Think of ways to bolster participation. It could be as simple as hanging a flyer on current programs in the restrooms.

Having a true wellness culture in your workplace will pay off in many different ways. From happy and engaged employees to a team atmosphere to reduced health care costs — it’s a win-win for all involved.