Blog Post

How to Create a Culture of Well-Being in the Workplace

December 22, 2021

By Kris Drake, RN, CHPD, Freeman Health System Wellness Coordinator
As we say goodbye to 2021, many people create New Year’s resolutions to become healthier versions of themselves.

=The average American spends one-third of their life at work, so what better place to promote wellness than in the workplace.

As you develop wellness programs in the workplace, consider a whole-person approach. The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) reports that successful workplace wellness initiatives require supporting employees in fulfilling their needs in seven areas:

  • Health – Going beyond the absence of mental or physical illness
  • Meaning – Knowing your work matters
  • Safety – Feeling safe from physical and psychological harm
  • Connection – Feeling a sense of belonging
  • Achievement – Succeeding at meeting your individual goals
  • Growth – Being challenged to use and expand on your strengths
  • Resiliency – Viewing life with optimism

Additionally, Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, developed the Six Dimensions of Wellness Model, which includes:

  • Occupational – Recognizing personal satisfaction and enrichment through work
  • Physical – Recognizing the need for regular physical activity
  • Social – Encouraging contributing to one’s environment and community
  • Intellectual – Recognizing one’s creative stimulating mental activities
  • Spiritual – Recognizing the search for meaning and purpose in our human existence
  • Emotional – Recognizing awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings

So, what do you do with this information? What is the first step in developing a program that meets the criteria?

With your CEO’s support, appoint a wellness coordinator and create a wellness committee with system-wide representation. You likely already have several wellness champions ready to support their co-workers.

Find out what employees need to support their wellness journey by providing a needs survey. You may discover that what you thought they want and what they say they want are different.

Consider starting 2022 with a system-wide Fitness Challenge. This is a great way for employees to get healthy through team support and fun competition! A challenge encourages employees to create teams of five to eight. Each team member will then meet the recommended 600 minutes of physical activity per month January through March. All teams who have accomplished this can get their names entered for prize drawings, which could include gift cards, t-shirts, water bottles, etc.

This challenge addresses occupational, physical and social dimensions of wellness. The areas of health, connection, achievement and growth are fulfilled in the challenge, as well.

If you would like help setting up your own challenge, contact Freeman Wellness Coordinator Margaret “Kris” Drake, RN, CHPD, at