What is Healthy Workplace?
Carleton University’s Healthy Workplace initiative is an exciting program that is bringing workplace health to all Carleton’s staff and faculty. The program is based on exhaustive research on wellness and recognition practices throughout the university community. The Healthy Workplace Committee, comprised of staff from all over campus, seeks to make Carleton a healthy and enjoyable place to work.
The Healthy Workplace Committee supports Carleton’s commitment to ensuring the university is a healthy, safe, and supportive place to work for all staff and faculty.
The Healthy Workplace Committee also believes in a workplace where we:
- feel recognized for the work they do
- enjoy a positive social environment that encourages respect, fosters a sense of belonging and purpose, and allows employees to fully use their talents
- enjoy an appropriate balance between work and life responsibilities;
- feel secure and enjoy a safe physical work environment
- are assured that psychological health and safety is protected
- have access to meaningful opportunities to adopt healthy lifestyle practices and coping skills to manage our lives in healthy, productive ways
- have the ability to influence their work and become involved in the decision-making process
- are given opportunities for personal, intellectual and professional growth
The Healthy Workplace Committee does this by partnering with faculty, staff, managers, university departments, and community organizations to provide our employees with educational resources and programs that support a positive work environment, foster a healthy, engaged workforce, and promote personal wellness.
What are the benefits to me?
Healthy workplace offers employees access to workshops that promote physical and mental well-being, that are often free or offered at a low cost. A goal of Healthy Workplace is to allow Carleton faculty and staff to grow in all areas of life—whether it is nutrition classes or walking clubs, input in decision making, or support from management and co-workers. A Healthy Workplace offers countless benefits to you and your family:
- Improved fitness, health, and lifestyle
- Improved work/life balance
- Improved morale and engagement
- Improved team spirit and job satisfaction
- Reduced stress and incidences of injury
- Enhanced relationships with co-workers
A healthy workplace is about a cultural shift to a workplace were employees feel recognized for the work they do and are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The healthy workplace initiative is working to help you enjoy a better balance between your responsibilities at home and work by offering you the opportunity to get involved in healthy activities that will benefit your physical and mental health.
Three Elements of a Healthy Workplace
Physical Environment and Occupational Health & Safety – We have had over a hundred years of legislation regarding Occupational Health and Safety. This element influences fatalities and workplace disabilities, and needs constant attention as organizations introduce new technologies, make production changes, demand more for less, and try to contain costs.
Health & Lifestyle Practices – This element assesses how well an organization helps employees to:
- Develop and maintain healthy lifestyle practices,
- Drop unhealthy and/or risky habits, and
- Make optimal use of the health care system.
Workplace Culture and a Supportive Environment – A supportive workplace culture is the bedrock of a healthy workplace. It supports and enables the other two elements. Culture is created, reinforced, and sustained by ongoing patterns of relationships and communications that are known to have an important influence on mental and physical health. You will find an organization’s values reflected in its culture – such values as respect, diversity, quality, and teamwork.
Who is responsible?
A healthy workplace is the responsibility of all of us! A healthy workplace requires the participation of all employees across the university and requires the co-operation of all faculty and staff. Collectively, we must work together to create a positive environment that provides employees with a sense of belonging and purpose.
- Employees are encouraged to take part in any of the Healthy Workplace programs that are available. They may also contribute to a healthy workplace as a volunteer Healthy Workplace Champion or by submitting health and wellness ideas and feedback.
- All levels of management are encouraged to help employees develop and reach their personal wellness goals.
How will we get there?
Excellence Canada (formerly known as the National Quality Institute) is a non-profit Canadian organization that offers a comprehensive and practical four step certification process to help organizations implement and maintain a healthy workplace. The Excellence Canada model will allow Carleton to form a foundation of excellence as well as a long-term strategy for creating a workplace culture of trust and respect.
Carleton is embarking on this journey to ensure that we are using the best practices possible to create and sustain a work environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and engaged. At present, Carleton holds a Level 1 certification, and is currently working towards Level 2 certification.
Excellence Canada’s Healthy Workplace Framework
For more information about Excellence Canada, please click here.
Why is Carleton doing this?
Carleton University has a responsibility to provide its members with a safe and healthy environment where all who work here are valued. Studies show that healthcare costs are increasing at twice the rate of inflation. In Canada, more than 50,000 strokes and 75,000 heart attacks occur every year. Mental illness costs the Canadian economy over $50 billion each year.
Carleton University’s employees are not exempt from these serious health concerns. A healthy workplace can help address employee’s specific health issues by providing an environment that improves employee health and well-being, reduces stress, and celebrates their successes and accomplishments.