Lead, Support, Communicate: Organizational Culture and Participation in Workplace Health Programs

Efforts to improve workforce health and productivity by emphasizing a corporate “culture of health” may bolster participation in workplace health and wellbeing programs. However, a culture of health is difficult to assess.

IBI conducted a review of 17 peer-reviewed research studies focused on the topic of organizational culture and program participation.

  • The most commonly measured cultural elements were social support and program promotion or communication.
  • Most programs focused on worksite health promotion or wellness programs. Health assessments were the second most commonly included programs, followed by coaching/counseling services, physical activity programs, and employee assistance programs.
  • Three out of four findings showed a positive association between favorable cultures and program participation.

Experts at leading healthcare, benefits, and absence management firms provided guidance on promoting workforce health as a shared cultural value. Their advice includes:

  • Aligning health with a company’s existing core values
  • Using business cases to obtain leadership buy-in
  • Cultivating models of healthy values
  • Adopting policies and workspaces that make the right choice the easy choice for employees
  • Situating health promotion and cultural initiatives within a larger strategy of engaging with the communities from which a company hires

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