Employee Health and Wellness
June 1, 2023
Supporting employees’ intellectual and spiritual wellbeing helps improve engagement, productivity and the ability to manage daily stresses and challenges.
Promoting intellectual and spiritual wellness is integral to a whole-person approach to employee health and wellness programs. They represent two of the eight interconnected dimensions of wellness: emotional, physical, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, social and spiritual wellbeing.
Prioritizing the overall health and wellbeing of employees and providing training on the different dimensions are positive actions organizations can take to reduce employee burnout, create a psychologically safe workplace and improve productivity and performance.
What is spiritual wellness?
There are many definitions for spiritual wellness. In general, the spiritual dimension of wellness is about having a sense of purpose and a defined set of personal values, beliefs and principles. In the workplace, spiritual wellness can positively influence leadership styles, ethical behavior, customer service best practices and inclusive thinking and interactions.
When employees feel a shared purpose and connection to the organization’s vision, mission and values, they are more likely to be engaged and committed and less likely to leave or only do the minimum work required (quiet quitting).
Offering ongoing guided meditations, mindfulness and yoga sessions (in-person or virtual) and creating a designated meditation room are a few ways to foster spiritual wellbeing and help employees feel connected, reduce stress and anxiety, boost mood, improve concentration and stay grounded so they can make better decisions.
What is intellectual wellness?
Promoting the intellectual dimension of wellness involves encouraging employees to cultivate a sense of curiosity and practice lifelong learning. Intellectual wellness is not something individuals only practice at work or through professional development. It may involve interests that are not directly related to work activities but have a far-reaching positive influence. For example, reading for pleasure, drawing or painting, playing games, solving crossword puzzles and traveling to new places.
Creating a culture of lifelong learning and curiosity helps employees expand their critical thinking and be open to new ideas, perspectives and experiences that can improve problem-solving, decision-making and communication skills. And it’s good for the brain, too. Research shows that activities that support intellectual wellness can positively impact the brain’s health and functioning.
Workplace activities that support intellectual wellness include lunch-and-learn sessions on timely topics or new skills, affinity groups for like-minded employees, guided meditation and brainstorming or feedback sessions to exchange ideas and foster connections.
Insights & Actions
Promoting workplace wellness is an active and ongoing process that touches on many different dimensions affecting employee behavior, engagement, productivity and the bottom line. Wellness training, apps and in-person and virtual sessions are a few of the low-cost tools that support employees’ overall health and wellbeing and cultivate connections, build resilience, and create a psychologically safe environment in which employees can thrive.