When Optimal Performance Consultants refers to WELLBEING we are actually taking a page from the in-depth research by Steelcase & Optimal Performance Consultants.
Corporate Wellbeing is a term you will be hearing more about thanks in large measure to the research conducted by Steelcase which Optimal Performance Consultants embraces as an approach to our Ergonomic – Strategic consulting – Accessible & Human Centred Design practice. When Corporate Wellbeing is in place at a bona fide organizational and strategic level there results, enhanced employee health outcomes, lower levels of absenteeism; fewer medical & insurance claims; enhanced human performance or as we like to say optimization of human performance. There also occurs demonstrable substantial cost savings. For example, Steelcase’s health insurance premiums in 2013 increased 3%, which was less than half the 7.5% increase estimated for the year by PricewaterhouseCoopers for Steelcase.
It is critical for WELLBEING’s goals to be about more than just cost reduction. “Most companies are interested in wellbeing, but mostly as the potential for lower insurance premiums. Beyond that, they think its fluff. As a finance guy, I can tell you that our wellbeing strategy has paid off in terms of organizational performance,” Dave Sylvester, CFO Steelcase USA.
Optimal Performance Consultants advocates for the development of a 4 pronged approach to Corporate Wellbeing with Ergonomics and Human Centred Design being the Central Core of this approach;
- Wellbeing must be an integral part of the culture of an organization & as a part of the strategic and profit-related goals for the organization
- Organizations must undertake a global approach to workplace design for example by obtaining certification using the soon to be released BOMABest Accessible Design Audit & Awards or the LEED V4 approach.
- Organizations must ensure the purchase and maintenance of products, workspaces & environments must meet pricing strategies while also guaranteeing improved wellbeing of employees.
- Organizations develop strategic and operationalized ergonomic, OH&S, Environment, FM, and accessible or universal design processes which are used at every stage from procurement & design to installation, build/renovate/move.
Many a company and consulting firm uses words such as health, wellness, ergonomics, positive culture etc. in their day to day business and even in the policy statements. Organizations who truly “get” the importance of their employees as drivers of success will adopt the more strategic approach. “Wellbeing” as practiced by OPC Inc. with our Canadian and US based clients involves many aspects of organizational culture, from making sure people understand what their job is all about & how it contributes to a company’s success all the way to providing the right workspace, tools and resources to be successful on a consistent basis. Research shows that successful organizations support their employees with this more all-encompassing approach to enhance mental, physical and cognitive wellbeing.
THE BEST WAY TO WORK? CHANGE POSTURES (EVEN FIDGETING) AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE & MOVE DYNAMICALLY THROUGH EACH DAY = MENTAL, COGNITIVE, PHYSICAL WELLBEING
The solution in the workplace and the best way to achieve employee and corporate WELLBEING is to be very strategic at the start of all facility related projects which may be updates to furniture; design of a new floor; moving to a new workspace. Being strategic means IT, FM, HR, CFO’s, OH&S, Ergonomics/Human Factors specialists all work together with the Architects, Interior Designers, Maintenance, Purchasing to bring about job design and workplace design which allows employees to have more choice about where they will work (workstations, quiet meeting rooms, break rooms etc.); how they will work in terms of being able to change their mental and physical states; collaborative or private work.
The provision of simple-to -follow dynamic movement programs such as ensuring stairwells are conducive to stair use; lunch rooms have standing counters; well lit & safe pathways encourage people to walk during lunch breaks; the provision of on-going training and support for the use of standing and stretching during the day; changing the culture to emphasize health and fitness, ensures employees are physically energized, mentally stimulated which helps people stay refreshed and engaged. This is WELLBEING at its best. Workplaces which are putting this into place or are starting this process need to use a strategic not program based approach. This guarantees success & long term outcomes including WELLBEING of the employees and the organization.
Educational Materials for Wellbeing
Seminars, PowerPoint Presentations and Workshop Packages
Lunch and Learn Seminars
OPC’s Lunch and Learn Seminars focus on a number of topics including:
- injury prevention
- body mechanics
- manual materials handling
- injury management
- customer service standards training
We customize seminars to include topics of your choosing and information related to your specific type of business. Our team also incorporates your company’s brand, values and goals into our seminar presentations to connect with your employees.
Books by Jane Sleeth
Jane is the author of a number of books to help your business achieve a better standard of worker wellbeing. Titles include:
- CLV Special Report – Understanding, Preventing and Controlling Back and Neck Pain
- CLV Special Report – Psychological Illness, Mental Health and the Workplace: Canadian Trends and Return to Work Challenges
- Return to Work Compliance Toolkit