In Canada, October is Healthy Workplace Month. The theme—Workplace Wellness Fosters Healthy Minds. One of the goals is to increase awareness of a comprehensive approach to workplace physical and mental health that involves three elements:
- Health and lifestyle practices
- Workplace culture and a supportive environment
- Physical environment and occupational health and safety.
Each week has a specific focus:
Week One: Safe Workplaces. A healthy workplace is both physically and psychologically healthy and safe. Understanding the psychosocial risks and hazards associated with mental injury, such as bullying and harassment, lets companies identify and remove barriers and create an environment that supports both health and productivity.
Week Two: Healthy Bodies. Our physical health, feelings and thoughts are connected to our general health and well-being. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind—and a much happier life. But being healthier doesn’t have to mean revamping your entire lifestyle. A few simple changes such as eating more vegetables to laughing more often can make a big difference in the way you feel and your mental well-being. (For example here are some tips for getting adults more active that you can post in your workplace.)
Week Three: Supportive Workplace Cultures. A positive work culture is one with clear vision and purpose, where employees are aware of their individual contribution and engaged with the success of their organization. When employees support each other and feel valued, they create and maintain an atmosphere of confidence and mental well-being.
Work Four: Fun at Home and Work. Mental well-being is often associated with people who embrace humour and fun in their lives. Fun in the workplace could be described as an atmosphere where employees experience collegiality, humour and the resulting increased feelings of satisfaction with their work.
The Healthy Workplace Month website has many resources you can use to recognize this month and promote these ideas in your workplace. In addition, the OHS Insider has many resources on making workplaces more healthy, including:
- Five case studies of employers who implemented wellness programs and reaped many benefits from them
- Why OHS and wellness programs should work together (and a checklist to help you integrate these programs)
- Wellness programs and profitability
- Coordination between safety and HR on wellness programs.