3 Ways Employers Should Prioritize Community Health
A healthy community has a variety of integrated components that cooperate to meet the needs of its residents. From food access and air quality to public safety and social services, you may not even realize what comprises your level of community health on a daily basis.
One meaningful element of community health resides in the individuals who comprise that community. In other words, happy neighbors make a happy neighborhood! The question then becomes how to impact the health and happiness of individuals in a way that evokes a sense of community.
With the average American spending more than 40 hours a week at work, employers arise as a key contributor to individual happiness. In fact, studies have connected the dots between employee and community health, finding that employee health impacted the surrounding community.
Which means community health levels rest largely in your hands, employers.
3 Ways to Prioritize Community Health at Work
Gut check time: 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt more appreciated. One simple way to acknowledge employee value every day is to put their wholistic health at the forefront of employee acquisition and retention strategies.
1. Develop a Culture of Health
There’s no perfect way to address employee wellness. Rather than taking a cookie-cutter approach, find out what employees want in a wellness program and promote total wellness at work. This means all aspects of the person (including their community) should be enveloped in your company culture.
You could promote physical wellness by providing local gym memberships, emotional health by examining your time-off policies, financial wellness by holding monthly lunch-n-learns, and community health by volunteering regularly as a company.
As you develop a well-rounded program, be sure to address employee wellness inclusively. One way to do this is to consider the disabilities and special needs potential employees could have, as well as to ask employees what they want in events like health fairs.
2. Make Community Health a Part of Your Story
You likely share your company’s story on your website… does it mention community health? By emphasizing your connection to employees and their communities within your company story, you indicate that you support community health from the inside out. Something as simple as referencing your company’s location in its online description can convey a sense of pride in the area you choose to work.
Take it a step further and show how you give back (in time and money) to surrounding organizations.
3. Partner with Community Organizations
Other organizations in your community are excellent resources. Whether you team up to provide a wellness benefit to your employees or contribute to a philanthropic effort, collaboration is a powerful driver of community health. In addition to one-on-one collaborations, consider joining groups of organizations that meet to discuss and implement innovative solutions to community wellbeing.
Building a healthy community does not rest on the shoulders of employers, but they do make a huge difference. Shaking up employee wellness programs is a worthwhile initiative that may require unique measurement tools outside of ROI. Don’t let that deter you. With a little ingenuity and a lot of collaboration, you can create a comprehensive wellness program that balances every aspect of individual wellbeing.
Ready to kickstart your total wellness program with a health fair? Call us to plan yours today!