Workplace innovation in the US: New report from IWIN

Earlier this fall I presented at the Innovative Employer Roundtable hosted by University of Kentucky’s Institute for Workplace Innovation (IWIN). IWIN is a unique university-employer think tank. Its new report on healthy organizations offers insights for Canadian employers on how organizational culture can help improve employee health.

Employers today face a host of challenges in human resource management as budgets contract, the workforce ages, health care costs mount and chronic disease becomes a chronic concern. Research reveals that these challenges are interlinked with employee health— presenting vast opportunities for innovative problem-solving strategies. One  strategy that has gained attention in recent years is the push for healthy organizations, where employee health and wellness is integrated into the culture, operations, and business strategy of the organization. Although many employers increasingly understand the opportunities offered by a healthy work environment, many do not know how to begin the transition into actually creating one. The Institute for Workplace Innovation’s new report, Creating Healthy Organizations: Promising Practices in Kentucky examines best practice examples among employers in that region and provides evidence-based tools for developing worksite wellness initiatives.

Sponsors for the research reported include the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, CVS Caremark, and UK HealthCare. This report provides employers with a process to create healthy organizations (through the HealthIntegrated Model) and case studies that illustrate how Kentucky employers are integrating health and wellness into their culture and business processes.

A HealthIntegrated Organization is an organization that strategically integrates employee health and well-being into its culture and business objectives through collaborative and comprehensive initiatives, policies and practices to achieve positive organizational and employee outcomes. A review of the literature and analysis of employer interviews informed the development of the HealthIntegrated Model, which consists of five key dimensions and four essential business processes. This model provides a tool for integrating health into organizations’ culture and operations.

To download the report, go to: