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Creating a Corporate Culture of Wellness

Or, Why positive mental health outcomes support business goals

Cameron Chapman
11 min readMay 22


“Wellness” is a common buzzword you’ll see discussed in a lot of missives about corporate culture. Wellness programs, wellness stipends, wellness benefits, etc. are often listed in the perks section of many job listings. And while the focus on wellness is a positive step, what does it actually mean? Where are companies getting it right and where are they getting it wrong?

In my experience, most companies are getting wellness wrong, or only getting it right in very specific areas. Wellness benefits often include things like gym memberships or subscriptions to meditation apps. Those are great perks, for sure, but they don’t really get to the heart of creating a culture of wellness.

So what does create a comprehensive wellness culture? It’s both simpler than you think and more complex than most companies realize.

#1: Pay Your Employees Thriving Wages

This is the number one way to improve overall employee wellness. If your employees are struggling to make ends meet each month, then they don’t have the time or energy to focus on their mental health needs. Full stop.

But here’s the other thing about not paying your employees enough: it leads to high turnover. If your employees aren’t making enough to live comfortably on, then they’re constantly going to keep an eye out for a better opportunity. And when they find it, they won’t give a second thought to leaving. That means higher costs for the company since they’ll have to hire and train someone new. But it also means a drop in team morale and productivity, especially if you have a period of time where you’re short-staffed. That hurts the overall wellness of your team.

Low wages are expensive in the end.

#2: Value Empathy in Management

People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. I don’t remember the source of that quote (I heard it years ago), but I firmly believe that it’s true. I had a job a few years ago that I absolutely loved. Then, on the same day, both my direct manager and her manager put in their notice (unbeknownst to each other). After a few weeks of…