Steps involved in implementation of wellness in workplace
Wellness in organizations – A necessity:
Recent years have witnessed unprecedented and rapid changes in organizational maintenance. Workplaces have now taken up a keen interest in the factor of their employees and are taking measures that will have a rapid and positive impact. Not only have these changes influenced the way individuals experience work, but they also imply a need to redesign modern workplaces to develop and sustain healthy, productive workers. The existence of such a rapidly developing necessity in the industry contributes to the little implementation and effectiveness of sustainable practice in the FM industry. Facilities management used to be regarded as an old-fashioned industry and associated with activities solely focused on caretaking, cleaning, repairs, maintenance etc. Recently this view is changing as facilities management now also requires expertise in areas like real estate, finance, human resource, health and safety, change and contract management.
This varied interest includes understanding the factors that can affect occupant physical, mental health, and productivity in the workplace. From an organizational management point of view, wellness is a major factor in work quality and productivity and, therefore, business success. A more thoughtful approach to how buildings influence those who occupy them has many tangible benefits, both financially and for the health and wellness of occupants.
How can it benefit an organization?
Designing and managing an employee wellness program is an important step in improving the health and productivity of employees and potentially improving the overall cost of employer-provided health care. Wellness programs can benefit employers by:
- Lowering health care costs.
- Reducing absenteeism.
- Achieving higher employee productivity.
- Reducing workers’ compensation and disability-related costs.
- Competitive growth
- Improving employee morale and loyalty.
In order to construct a healthy workplace is the one that helps the workforce to thrive and happily perform to their optimum ability. To achieve and maintain such an environment, certain steps and processes must be followed.
Steps involved in the implementation:
The processes of implementing a sustainability policy may include part of all of the following:
- Planning: Defining goals, objectives, roles and responsibilities, indicators, etc.
- Selling: Making a business case that convinces all levels of management.
- Implementing: Building teams, assigning tasks and responsibilities, communicating objectives, execute activities, etc.
- Target setting and Monitoring: Assessing your organization’s performance, making timely adjustments, etc.
- Reporting: Collecting and organizing the data on performance, enabling a dialogue platform between your organization and your stakeholders.
- Providing feedback: Acknowledging, translating, communicating, and taking action on your stakeholders’ views on your performance.
Sustainable FM Practice
The FM industry and its market are forecasted to develop to include non-core functions and activities traditionally not associated with this profession, but which are increasingly being addressed by FM. The scale of growth in the built environment and the consequential growth of the FM sector is anticipated to be enormous. With the pressing sustainability agenda, the impact of the built environment, including the contribution that the construction industry makes, is vast.
The concept of sustainable FM has developed in parallel with the concept of sustainable development and the growing appreciation of the scale of predicted climate change. There is now a dire need to balance the three strands of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental. Facilities managers are at the forefront of organizational behavioral change and in a position to influence the behavior of individuals working in business, government departments, and public services within the facilities they manage.
A successful sustainability policy can generate a wide range of benefits for your organization, all of which can, directly or indirectly, boost its ability to meet its objectives. These benefits can be classified mainly under two categories:
Hard or tangible benefits, which can be quantified and expressed in monetary units. For example, increased profits generated from improved cost-effective manufacturing processes (cost reduction), or additional sales from breaking into new markets.
Soft or “intangible” benefits, which are not commonly regarded as quantifiable, but can be expressed in terms of monetary units. For example, increased profits as a result of higher productivity, triggered by higher employee satisfaction. Developing and implementing a sustainability policy requires the joint effort from all members in your organization; therefore, confirming a sound organizational strategy is essential to encourage commitment and ensure accountability.
For example, turning off all electrical office equipment during the night (i.e. Energy Management activity) may have the following effects:
- Social: Indirect relation and High influence on the behavior and lifestyle of your staff.
- Environmental: Direct relation and High influence on reducing harmful emissions.
- Economic: Indirect relation and Low influence on increasing your organization’s productivity.
The outcome should then be complemented with support from a stronger, technical framework. Regardless of the methodology chosen, frequent dialogue and feedback to the organization’s stakeholders are highly important to guarantee the successful performance of a Sustainability Policy.
In response to this identified reality within the FM sustainable practice and the stringent need for innovation, this good practice guide for sustainability policy provides the industry with the framework of commitment to these important two agendas, innovation and sustainability.