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Culture, communication key to effective workplace wellness programs: study

February 23, 2016

Baltimore – Workplace health promotion programs are most effective in organizations that develop a consistent, all-inclusive culture of health and a clear communications strategy, according to a recent study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Researchers cited culture and communication as the pillars of effective wellness programs after conducting a literature review, interviews with subject matter experts and onsite visits to organizations with successful initiatives.

“At its most basic structural level, creating a culture of health requires a physically supportive environment (e.g., healthy food offerings, fitness facilities, walking trails),” the authors wrote. “In the companies we visited, healthy options were accessible and easy to adopt.”

The authors also emphasized the importance for a socially supportive environment and employee engagement in creating a culture of health.

“Involving workers in day-to-day decisions is critical to establishing buy-in for programs and building trust,” the authors wrote. “At many of the organizations we visited, employees reported being very engaged in the program and ‘owners’ of the program because initiatives were continually evolving based on their feedback.”

The study was published in the February edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.