Shannon Raffington – Managing Director, Human Resources for Lamb Insurance Services
In a workforce that is no longer settling for a disconnected, numbers-only environment, leadership professionals need to invest in and engage with a well-structured wellness program. The leaders of nonprofit organizations are no exception.
In addition to increased job satisfaction and employee morale, studies show prioritizing employee wellness can improve performance and boost overall productivity. Financially, wellness programs can translate to cost-savings, including the frequency and duration of sick days, turnover-related costs and insurance coverage.
Consider the following when working wellness into your nonprofit’s culture:
• Get on board: For a wellness program to be truly effective, the entire organization needs to be engaged from the top down. Before diving into an organization-wide wellness program, leadership should discuss the goals of the program and how they plan to encourage employee engagement. Additionally, they should discuss responsibilities, how they plan to implement the program and how it aligns with their overall company values.
• Designate and delegate: Once a wellness program has been discussed and goals have been established, nonprofit leaders should develop strategies to achieve these goals. As a tactic to engage more people throughout the organization and grow a wellness program, leadership should consider developing subcommittees, or designated individuals to bring the program to life. Properly embedding a wellness program into an organization’s culture requires consistent work. Leadership should look to recruit individuals who show a genuine passion for the well-being of their co-workers.
• Know your team: A people-centric approach is essential to a successful wellness program. Leadership should consult employees across the entire organization about what they would like to see out of a wellness program. For example, an organization that is fully remote might benefit from different tactics than an organization where employees are back in the office full time. Some organizations might have very active employees who are interested in team 5k races while others may be more interested in paid personal days throughout the year to spend as they please. Team members are a company’s most valuable resource and when it comes to their wellness, they should have a say. Make sure your team is running regular surveys and conducting team meetings to gauge the effectiveness of the wellness program and listen for more suggestions on how to improve.
It may take time to foster an effective wellness program, but the benefits will outweigh the effort. In today’s talent market, nonprofits need to prove to prospective employees that they are willing to go the extra mile for the sake of their teams. Fostering an environment where culture and wellness are woven into the fabric of an organization can greatly contribute to the longevity and success of that nonprofit and the happiness of its employees, as well as those it serves.