University Launches New Wellness@Work Initiative

Posted on Friday, May 12th, 2017

Written by Jenna Hennessy, Internal Communications Coordinator

You spend a significant part of your day at work and your experiences here influence your overall health and happiness. To help support a thriving workforce, organization and community, U of G is proud to announce the launch of Wellness@Work, our healthy workplace program.

Workplace health is about more than just physical wellness. The University’s customized program for faculty and staff is based on Excellence Canada’s comprehensive approach, a standard that includes four pillars:

  • healthy lifestyles
  • mental health and workplace culture
  • corporate social responsibility
  • physical environment

Why cultivating a healthy workplace matters

The University of Guelph is committed to fostering a healthy workplace that supports the well-being of the whole person.

The initiative is lead by vice-president (finance, administration and risk) Don O’Leary with the backing of President Franco Vaccarino and the support of the Healthy Workplace Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of 19 representatives from across the University in different academic and staff roles from across the University’s bargaining units.

“Supporting a healthy workplace at the University of Guelph is a priority for senior leadership,” says O’Leary. “This initiative has far reaching benefits for all of our employees. It will help us go further in creating an environment where everyone can be their best selves.”

Plans for building a healthy workplace

Wellness@Work is an opportunity to better promote the services the University currently has and to better understand the programs and supports employees need to create a truly healthy workplace across all campuses and research stations.

Since the Healthy Workplace Committee was formed, it has achieved major milestones to support workplace health:

  1. Completed an assessment of the University’s current workplace health efforts. The assessment identified the University’s strengths and helped uncover opportunities for improvement.
  2. Contributed to the creation of a new healthy workplace policy for U of G. The policy outlines the University’s support for the Committee and for staff and faculty participating in Healthy Workplace programming.

How you can get involved

The Wellness@Work initiative is custom-designed for U of G. To make the initiative the most effective it can be, the committee will rely on input and support from the University community. You can be involved in helping build a healthy workplace by:

  • Volunteering as a Healthy Workplace Champion - Champions will help share wellness information from the Committee and encourage their colleagues to take part in Wellness@Work programming. The Committee will start recruiting Healthy Workplace Champion soon.
  • Complete a wellness survey - In the coming months, the Committee will invite all faculty and staff to complete a wellness survey. The results will give the University a more accurate understanding of its initial progress in meeting the National Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Standard.
  • Take part in Healthy Workplace Month – During Healthy Workplace Month in October, the Committee will offer a series of healthy workplace activities, events and challenges.
  • Share ideas – The committee welcomes feedback and suggestions from all University faculty and staff. Ideas for programs and resources can be directed to

You can learn more about the University’s healthy workplace initiative through the Wellness@Work website.

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