Chapter Overview

1) The Healthy Organization outlines a healthy organization model. The model combines elements from workplace health promotion, human resources, organizational performance, and corporate social responsibility. The model helps you to identify new opportunities to improve quality of work life and organizational results. Four building blocks support sustainable success: positive cultures, inclusive leadership, vibrant workplaces, and inspired employees. The model encourages integrative thinking about the drivers of well-being, performance, and responsible business practices.

2) Beyond Workplace Health Promotion lays out the limits – and promise – of workplace health promotion. The chapter shows how to extend the benefits of your current healthy workplace practices beyond reduced employee health risks, health benefit savings, and lower levels of absenteeism. Workplace health promotion has the potential to tighten the links between employee well-being and performance. This requires improvements in the psychological and social aspects of work that define a vibrant workplace.

3) How Vibrant Workplaces Inspire Employees shows how your organization can achieve higher levels of employee wellness and performance by cultivating the ingredients of vibrant workplaces that inspire employees in their jobs. A vibrant workplace is grounded on the quality of relationships, jobs, teamwork, and human resource support systems. Employees are supported to learn, collaborate and innovate in the interests of customers and society. By moving in this direction, you can inspire your employees to contribute their best and to feel part of a workplace community.

4) Positive Cultures explores the culture building block of a healthy organization. The chapter suggests steps you can take to nurture a positive culture. Strong, people-centred values are the foundation, shaping day-to-day interactions among co-workers; between managers and employees; and between employees and their customers or clients, suppliers, business partners, and the larger community. You will learn how your company’s culture can become a strategic advantage.

5) Inclusive Leadership outlines the way that leadership in healthy organizations must be widely shared. The chapter describes six elements of inclusive leadership. Above all, employees are actively involved in shaping the organization’s healthy trajectory. While executive support is a key enabler of healthy change, an inclusive approach to leadership mobilizes everyone. Healthy organizations are co-created through ongoing actions across the entire workplace community.

6) Healthy Change looks inside the change process, focusing on the dynamics of how healthy organizations actually evolve. The chapter offers practical insights for designing change that is a healthy experience. Examples are offered from a wide range of organizations that are improving the work environment, involving employees in the process, and achieving performance improvements. Five broad principles for healthy change are outlined: align structure and culture; link changes to the business strategy; widen the circle of involvement; learn and innovate along the way; and understand the readiness for change in your organization.

7) Sustainable Success describes what sustainable success could mean for your organization and its implications for your human resources, environmental, and community practices. There are two significant drivers of sustainable success: the quality of relationships with stakeholders and future workforce capabilities. The chapter’s theme is renewal, specifically how you can renew your relationships with customers and your community stakeholders and how you can renew your workforce.

8) Measuring Progress provides practical advice and resources for measuring progress along your healthy organization trajectory. Having the relevant metrics available contributes to healthy change and a positive culture. The chapter focuses on how to make better use of your own evidence to plan, implement, and monitor organizational improvements. Organizations must come to grips with why they need healthy organization measures, what measures are needed, and how to make the fullest use of metrics to learn and improve.

9) Designing a Healthy Organization Strategy is an action-oriented summary of the insights, arguments, and evidence provided throughout the book. Each chapter is distilled into a checklist of points for discussion, planning, and implementation. Readers are encouraged to use this guide to design your own strategies. Whether you sit at the executive table or are a front-line worker, there is a role you can play in helping your organization to achieve a better quality of work life for employees and improved performance.