Last week, I had the pleasure of representing VITAL WorkLife at two events focused on well being in the workplace.

Business-Culture-of-Well-BeingRemoving the Stigma of Mental Health

Liz Ferron and I were panelists on Marsh & McLennan Agency’s “Well Being in the Workplace Perspectives on Behavioral Health Panel.” We covered topics ranging from reducing the stigma of mental health in the workplace to mindfulness to the importance of leadership in the advocacy of behavioral health programs.

Culture Changing Resources for Physicians and Providers

The next day, I spoke in partnership with Unum at their inaugural Healthcare Symposium on physician and provider burnout. The focus of the symposium was how organizations like VITAL WorkLife, Unum and others can work together to get physicians and providers engaged and productive.

Culture = Connecting People

At the Healthcare Symposium, University of Minnesota football coach, PJ Fleck, was inspirational in his talk on his “Row the Boat” philosophy and how he is building a foundation for an engaged, energized and forward-thinking culture. Fleck contends your people are your secret ingredient to creating a collaborative culture of well being.

Although these events targeted different audiences, several common themes emerged. Whether you’re a school, manufacturing company, healthcare organization or football team, it’s important to create a culture of well being. What does this mean?

1. Culture of Well Being 

  • A positive culture is about connecting people and creating a family environment
  • Organizations can make it easier for their employees to make good choices
  • Each employee, including leaders, can first focus on making him or herself well, which will help make the entire organization well
    • If your personal well being is out of balance, ask yourself what do you need to add to or remove from your life to be well?
    • Physicians are one of the most stressed and burned out professionals. Physician Burnout: Balancing Caregiving and Self-Care offers tips to help support physician well being.

2. Leadership

Supportive leadership is absolutely necessary in creating a culture of well being. This is true for every industry or institution.

  • A positive, healthy culture starts with leaders creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable and part of the team
  • In our 2017 survey we found culture drives well being within an organization and leadership drives culture. Leadership is the personification of culture
  • To reduce the stigma of mental health in the workplace, leaders can model healthy behaviors by being open and willing to talk about it and sharing their own experiences. Leaders can:
    • Be vulnerable
    • Offer employees resources to learn and talk about their challenges
    • Be mutually supportive
  • Read more about 3 ways healthcare leadership can build a healthy, team-based culture

3. Implementation

Every organization wants their employees to be happy, healthy and productive. But there are many internal and external factors potentially standing in the way.

To successfully implement a proactive, preventative well being program, such as an Employee Assistance Program or our Physician Well Being Resources, organizations need to make sure it is adequately communicated and promoted internally. After all, team members can’t use it if they are not aware of or feel there is a stigma attached to using the resources offered.

For example, we encourage leaders to use these programs themselves before launching the resources for their organization to make sure they fully understand the benefit, are able to speak to it and can share personal stories with their employees, to become advocates of the resources.

In conclusion, it was great to see the diversity of industries represented at these events. Leaders and employees are experiencing similar challenges and issues and these conversations can lead to a heightened awareness and positive change for organizations in creating a culture of well being.

For more information or for help in assessing your organization’s well being needs, give us a call at 800.383.1908 to see how we can help.