Leaders – You Can No Longer Afford To Ignore Wellness Leadership! (Why Would You Anyway?)

Wellness leadership’s time has come. Read on to learn how and why wellness leadership must be incorporated into your leadership practices starting today.

Which leadership model do you practice? Is it authentic leadership, servant leadership, transformational leadership or another? No matter which model it is, I would argue you also need to practice wellness leadership.

In today’s value added economy, the statement “Our employees are our most valuable asset” is no longer just a trite statement. It is reality. Thanks to the global 24/7 economy, ever-increasing complexity and the increasing pace of change, employers need the “whole” employee showing up for work each and every day.

If you are a senior leader of an organization that provides employees with health benefits, you are well aware of the costs to your organization associated with employee health and wellness. While these costs are the most visible, they are neither the only costs, nor even the largest cost to your organization.

Employee health and wellness impact your organization in many other ways, including:

• Absenteeism

• Presenteeism

• Engagement

• Performance and productivity

• Motivation

• Morale

It is for all these reasons combined that I would argue that as a leader, you can no longer ignore employee health, wellness and wellbeing. Today, wellness leadership must be included in your leadership repertoire.

The leadership literature is broad, comprehensive and complex. Much has been written about leadership theories, leader qualities, leader competencies and so forth.

From this literature, I take the essence of leadership to be:

• Creating a strategic vision

• Choosing the right strategies

• Successfully executing the strategies

• Influencing, inspiring and motivating others

• Developing others

So what is wellness leadership and how do these seven key functions of leadership apply within a wellness leadership framework?

Wellness leadership is about:

• Creating a framework for the organization for all employee health and wellness efforts

• Using the key functions of leadership to create workplace conditions that make it easy for employees to practice living healthy lifestyles

• Supporting employees in their quest for health, happiness, wellness and wellbeing

• Identifying and removing the barriers to health and wellness success

Wellness leaders include employee health and wellness as part of their organization’s vision. They readily and frequently share this vision with everyone within the organization, as well as other stakeholders. It is important that employee health and wellness be seen as positive and affirming. Wellness program strategies will always have the best chance of success when they are closely aligned with the organization’s overall strategic goals and initiatives.

Employees look to their leaders as being role models. By serving as a role model for health and wellness, leaders can be inspirational, influential, and enhance employee motivation. Leaders, who visibly demonstrate commitment for wellness, send a strong message to their organization that contributes significantly to wellness program success and sustainability. In fact, researchers have found that leadership commitment is one of the keys to wellness program success.

Leaders play a strategic role in their organization’s culture. Wellness leadership is about aligning wellness norms and goals with the organization’s culture. It is absolutely critical for the wellness program to be aligned with the organization’s culture.

During the course of any year, a majority of employees have been known to attempt, on their own, to make healthy lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, most attempts do not result in long-term behavior change. In my mind, this creates a great opportunity for leaders to incorporate into individual employee development plans any desires an employee might have to make healthy lifestyle related changes. Wellness leaders support healthy lifestyle changes as much as they support any work related performance or behavior change the employee wishes to make.

Do not ignore wellness leadership any longer. Incorporate it into your leadership practices beginning today.

Start Today

Wellness leadership is all about supporting employee health and vitality. I am here to help you develop your knowledge and skills in the leadership of employee health. I invite you to allow me the opportunity to introduce you to the available leadership tools and resources. I specialize in mentoring worksite program coordinators and creating Done With You employee health and well-being programs. You can contact me at williammcpeck@gmail.com.

Brought to you by Bill McPeck, Your Worksite Wellness Mentor. Dedicated to helping employers create successful, sustainable worksite wellness and well-being programs, especially in small employer settings.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/William_McPeck/1737577

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