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Office health initiatives improve employee wellness: study


Washington :Tying 10 per cent of managerial salary increases to health initiatives may increase employee wellness and motivation, researchers say.

From helping new employees get settled in a job to setting deadlines and job expectations, it goes without saying that managers have a huge influence on employee behaviour.

A new study has found that engaging managers in employee health programmes and goals may be the solution that has been missing.
While workplace wellness initiatives are common, few have had substantial success in getting individual employees to make healthy changes.

Researchers from Cornell University in US have proposed an alternate approach that incentivises managers to promote specific employee wellness changes.

“Instead of focusing on individual wellness outcomes, we propose that it would be more effective if managers were incentivised to create healthier overall work environments with simple, easy to implement actions such as installing a water cooler, providing healthy snacks at meetings, and encouraging work/life balance,” said Rebecca Robbins from Cornell University.

The study surveyed 270 adults with manager roles and found that 68 per cent supported the idea of being evaluated by their employee wellness actions.

“Leadership support is essential in any workplace change, including wellness. Most employee wellness initiatives do not utilise the power of manager leadership – this strategy is unique in that it really taps into the manager’s ability to lead their team to wellness,” said Brian Wansink from Cornell University.

The study found that tying just 10 per cent of managers’ salary increases to their employee wellness efforts, could have a big payoff in terms of creating a culture of health at the workplace, and could tip the scales towards healthier employees.


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