Part of creating a welcoming and positive work environment includes building a wellness plan that supports everyone in your organization—regardless of needs, conditions or abilities. It’s a crucial factor in fostering workplace culture.

As an organization dedicated to supporting individuals living with chronic conditions, we understand the importance of health plans tailored to individual needs. That’s why we take a holistic approach to corporate wellness.

Holistic wellness is a practice, which starts with integrating choices around a prevention strategy. It’s not something that can be bought, or applied in the short term. Exercise, health care needs, sound nutrition and mindfulness must be considered together for holistic wellness to thrive. It’s about finding a cadence between all four elements. It’s an ongoing commitment to total health.

Wellness programs that focus too heavily on physical activity may not be accessible to all; a holistic program is practiced all year around, and takes all aspects of health and ability into consideration. For an individual living with obesity, for example, resources to counter experiences like stigma can also be crucial to total wellness. Tools to support emotional wellness can come in the form of online apps, meditation or therapy and other psychological support.

The success of a wellness plan depends on identifying a few key priorities and framing them into tangible goals. Wellness should be individually scaled, but there is also great value in communal activities that can help many people reach specific goals. For example, organizations can use exercise as a focus that brings people together. It creates small wins and steady motivation that shows people that bigger achievements are within reach.

At Novo Nordisk Canada, we extend this philosophy into the community, too. As part of our Triple Bottom Line commitment to social betterment, each year we host the Novo Nordisk® "Hazel" 5KM Run/Walk.

The 2019 Run/Walk results and participation were outstanding. In preparation for the event, Novo Nordisk Canada’s run club and fitness program encouraged new participants. Leading up to the race, the program inspired employees to work harder than they would have alone. What you don’t see from the run finishing times are the countless hours of training. Each finishing time is the result of team effort, weeks in the making.

To help grow our culture of physical activity, we use our fitness facility at head office and we also use digital strategies to reach employees virtually, to train together or independently in an exclusive live-biofeedback coaching environment.

Outside of head office, our district teams in Quebec track their exercise weekly. They collaborate based on distance, time and wellness goals. This helps to economize their time and get active across varying schedules and ability levels. Following the success of this initiative, we hope to expand this platform to our west coast teams, to head office and to eastern Canada. This broad-reaching involvement is possible not only because of new software programs, but the driving interest towards celebrating exercise as a part of our corporate culture.

Whether it’s a new personal best, access to additional mindfulness tools, coverage for medical treatments, or all of the above, holistic wellness plans support employees in achieving good health in all aspects of their lives. In order continue putting patients first in all our work, we know our employees’ health must come first, too. That’s why we’re taking strides every day to walk, run and talk our way to better health for all.