Studies have shown that management behavior influences workplace ethics. A Deloitte and Touche study showed that among working adults, the behavior of management (42%) and that of direct supervisors (36%) were considered the top two factors contributing to the promotion of an ethical workplace. Ethics training ranked much lower (16%) as a factor.
Other studies have shown that corporate codes of conduct and the degree of "implementation strength and embeddedness" of such codes seems to deter self-reported unethical behavior in employees.
If it works for ethics, can it work for wellness?
If corporate code and management conduct are so influential when it comes to ethics, could their example also improve workplace health and productivity? A new body of studies in health promotion seem to point in that direction.
An article published in the Journal of Occupational And Environmental Medicine, looked at nine quality components of worksite health management programs and compared the results of those programs between best practice and common practice organizations. Best practice organizations showed higher levels of program engagement than common practice organizations and were 1-2.3 times more likely to see population health improve.
Everyone wants to be the best
So what are some of the distinguishing characteristics of best in class programs?
- Comprehensive program design
- Integrated incentives
- Comprehensive communications
- Management support
- Dedicated onsite staff
- Multiple program modalities
- Health awareness programs
- Biometrics health screenings
- Vendor integration
The first step in really showing the value of any wellness program is always to form a cogent plan, make the case to management and then to execute that plan with enough discipline and flexibility to achieve results. It's no small job, but what worth doing is?
Editor's Note - It's hard to be humble when you're bloggin' straight out of Portland, Oregon. Tanya Barham is the Founder and CEO of Recess Wellness, a company where all the staff works like little elves at Christmastime to transform their client's workplaces into healthy, happy, productive places akin to Santa's workshop at the North Pole. Seriously. Of course, Santa's fat, so they still have work to do.