Guess what happens when people feel connected to and involved in the area where they live? That’s right, their overall well-being increases. And, that’s a win-win for everyone.
Being one of the 5 widely recognized elements of overall well-being, community well-being is one that employers would do well to address. Focusing on community well-being demonstrates a company’s commitment to its employees as social beings, and as pieces of the “big puzzle” (their communities). This helps promote a sense of overall oneness, between individual and community, and that’s a good thing!
What does community well-being look like from an employer’s perspective?
- Supporting local causes and projects.
- Encouraging and supporting employees to support local causes and projects, perhaps even matching contributions that employees make to community interests of their choice.
- Enabling employees to volunteer, maybe even as a group for a team-building activity.
- Letting employees know about community events and programs so employees can meet people and socialize.
The benefits of focusing on community well-being for employers are limitless, really. Corporate support of the community can and does:
- Improve employees’ well-being by giving employees opportunities for social connections and local involvement.
- Positively impact customer relations.
- Help recruiting efforts so the company can get the best of the best in local talent.
Need proof of the power of community well-being? One often cited example of community well-being is the small Minnesota town of Albert Lea, population 18,000. In 2009, led by Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones research, the town (including many employers) rallied together to promote community well-being and longevity. The result: Albert Lea residents increased their life expectancy about 3 years. The financial impact to employers was significant, as well.
- Key employers reduced absenteeism by 21%.
- The city saw a 40% decrease in health care costs for its employees.
Wow! Just think what your organization might be able to do or help accomplish through community well-being efforts.
Have you been enjoying this Hope at Work series on well-being? It’s not over yet. Check back next week when we wrap up everything. Next up: bringing the various elements of well-being together through communications.