So often organizations focus on a limited option of wellness and safety activities without considering the determining elements that impact well-being. The interconnection of safety, work interactions, societal issues, community influences, and organizational factors have a significant impact on employee well-being. It is a complicated and interconnected web but is where organizational and individual well-being emerge.
Combining a systems approach to safety that incorporates all dimensions of safety, including aspects of Total Worker Health (TWH), is the foundation to create a thriving work environment. Such a model embraces all elements at the organizational level as well as individual employee level.
TWH is a framework rather than a program to be purchased off the shelf and implemented. Instead, it is a comprehensive frame intended to BEGIN at the organizational level and not the individual level. Developed by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), TWH includes guidance for an integrative approach that informs a health and safety system. It is a model to customize policies, programs, and practices to enhance safety and health, and advance worker – as well as work-place – well-being.
There are 5 main or defining elements of the Total Worker Health framework,
- Demonstrating leadership commitment to worker safety and health at all levels of the organization.
- Designing work to eliminate or reduce safety and health hazards and promote worker well-being.
- Promoting and supporting worker engagement throughout program design and implementation.
- Ensuring confidentiality and privacy of workers.
- Integrating relevant systems to advance worker well-being.
The defining elements need to be orchestrated to cultivate a thriving environment. Such an approach requires a partnership and collaboration with all leaders at your organization: human resources, occupational health, safety, benefits, senior executives, mid-line managers, and employees. Now more than ever is the time to acknowledge and embrace the inextricable connection between employee well-being and safety, and the well-being of the organization.
Here is a resource to get you started and we are happy to discuss the best options for you. Total Worker Health.