In my role at TotalWellness, I talk a lot about how employee wellness programs should be designed with the “whole person” in mind. But what does that really look like? In the most general sense, it means helping people be the best version of themselves. That means going beyond just focusing on diet and fitness goals. Wellness programs that look at the whole person can help employees reach their full potential – impacting not only their own well-being but the well-being of the company.
Offering both professional development opportunities and the freedom to pursue passions outside of the office can have a positive impact on the way that employees view their work. If employees feel supported and inspired at work, they will naturally become more productive and satisfied. Employees will feel like they’re getting more than just a paycheck, they will feel valued because the company is investing in their growth. This is especially true for millennials. According to Gallup, opportunities to learn and grow are uniquely important for retaining millennials. Close to nine in 10 millennials (87%) rate professional or career growth and development opportunities as important to them in a job.
It can also directly impact health. According to a 2015 study, participants who engaged in leisure activities were found to be happier, less bored, less stressed and had lower heart rates. Leisure activities were also implied to be a great way to increase productivity and job performance, as they help boost creativity and give the brain a much-needed break.
Creating a learning culture might sound daunting or something that only huge organizations with sizable budgets can achieve. But the good news is that any size company can implement initiatives that encourage employees to grow. Here are two excellent examples of organizations that genuinely embrace a learning culture.