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  • Writer's pictureAbbey Salvas

Advocating for Wellness: Three Strategies to Become an Ally for Well-Being in the Workplace

Originally posted on the Mattingly Solutions Blog.

As we start the new year, many individuals and even organizations are focused on improving wellness as a resolution. An important aspect of ensuring everyone achieves these goals is the support of others. Being an ally for wellness can help those in your organization reduce stress and get healthier at work.  

This post will provide key strategies for allyship for workplace well-being, including respecting boundaries around others’ wellness goals, promoting organizational wellness initiatives, and advocating for an inclusive environment to benefit the wellness of all employees. A partner post focuses on how you can advocate for yourself and your own wellness goals at work. 

What is an ally?

Allyship is an ongoing relationship between an ally and their partner, working together toward a shared goal of fairness, equity, social justice, and, in this case, wellness. 

To truly be an ally, it is important to get to know people on an individual level. This opens the door for you to learn what they need from you as support, and for open candid conversations about how you can be a better ally. It’s important to remember that an ally is not who you are, but what you DO.

Allyship involves an ally using their power and status to support and advocate for someone who doesn’t share some aspect of their identity. In the context of wellness, allyship can involve advocating for others in their wellness goals. 

Why do we need allies for wellness? 

We need allies for wellness because often individuals face barriers seeking their own wellness while at work. Barriers can come from organizational policies or a lack of support from their supervisor, for example.

Wellness initiatives at work are increasingly important as they reduce stress and burnout, leading to better outcomes for both individuals and the organizations they work for.  

How do you become a wellness ally? 
  1. Respecting boundaries around wellness goals. 

  2. Allyship begins with an understanding and respect for individual differences, including personal wellness goals. Allies and leaders can foster a workplace environment that respects the diverse needs of employees by acknowledging and supporting their unique wellness journeys. This involves refraining from making assumptions about others' well-being and allowing individuals the autonomy to set and pursue their wellness goals at their own pace. 

  3. Respect for boundaries around wellness goals helps in building trust, promoting psychological safety, and enhancing overall workplace well-being. 

  4. Promoting organizational wellness initiatives. 

  5. Allies can champion workplace well-being by actively promoting and participating in organizational wellness initiatives. This involves collaborating with HR and other relevant departments to implement comprehensive wellness programs that cater to the diverse needs of employees. 

  6. From mental health resources and fitness programs to flexible work arrangements, allies can advocate for initiatives that go beyond traditional benefits.  

  7. Advocating for an inclusive environment. 

  8. True allyship in the realm of workplace well-being extends beyond individual efforts and encompasses a commitment to advocating for an inclusive environment. Allies and leaders can actively work towards dismantling barriers that may impede certain groups from accessing wellness resources or participating in organizational initiatives. 

  9. This involves pushing for policies and practices that prioritize inclusion, such as ensuring that wellness spaces are accessible to all employees, regardless of their physical abilities. Also, advocating for diverse and inclusive representation in wellness initiatives ensures that all employees' needs are recognized and addressed. 

Looking to advance DEI through data-driven insights in your organization? Contact us at Plan to Action today to drive meaningful change, together.

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