December 12, 2022

Workplace Well-Being is a Major Priority for the U.S. Surgeon General

The Surgeon General recently came out with a framework for Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing after some disconcerting statistics were reported about the current state of our nation’s workplace mental health and wellness. The Surgeon General’s framework focuses on five essentials, and they are centered around worker voice and equity. (1) 

The Surgeon General’s framework consists of five essentials. The first one, Protection from Harm, is critical to cultivating a safe and secure work environment. Some key components to this foundational area include destigmatizing talking about mental health and wellness, prioritizing physiological and psychological safety, and implementing effective DEI norms, policies, and programs. Incorporating regularly scheduled programming at the intersection of DEI, mindfulness, and wellness is essential to creating Protection from Harm for marginalized individuals at different companies. (1) By supporting DEI practitioners and marginalized communities through the incorporation of mindfulness and wellness practices, these individuals can have a healthy foundation from which to cultivate inclusive culture at their organizations.

The second essential is labeled Connection and Community. This focuses on social support and belonging in the workplace. One way this can successfully be done is by creating affinity spaces for marginalized groups to connect in a safe and affirming space. Affinity spaces are spaces designated for different identities to come together to discuss their experience, socialize, make connections, and create a sense of belonging in the community at large. Putting affinity groups into practice in your company and offering them resources for sustainability: i.e. a budget for consistent connection shows that your company prioritizes cultivating a culture of connection and community.

The third essential is Work-Life Harmony, which is a fresh take on Work-Life balance. This focuses on autonomy and flexibility of the employees. Some ways to accomplish this harmony are: flexible work schedules, such as hybrid or remote work, easier access to paid leave, and cultivating an environment where boundaries are set and upheld around time “off the clock”. It is essential that workers feel balanced and that their work is not overwhelming them or causing undue stress in their lives. For many, work is mostly a way to make a living. We all need to support ourselves, yet finding a sense of harmony at work can help us feel more at ease in our everyday life outside of work.         

The fourth and fifth essentials are Mattering at Work and Opportunity for Growth. These focus on equitable wages, gratitude and recognition, connecting to a mission or larger purpose, learning and growing and being offered opportunities for advancement and professional development.

It is important to invest in your employees for the long term; happy employees are more likely to find meaning in what they do. With employees practicing DEIMW regularly and with organizations intentionally cultivating inclusive and healthy culture, employees are more likely to be resilient and productive. Likewise, employees who feel truly valued and psychologically safe at work are more likely to stay at their respective organization for a longer period of time. 

Reach out to Source Wellness today to learn more about how your organization can implement innovative DEIMW programming and inclusive culture change initiatives to prioritize reduced turnover, productivity, and well-being for your employees.