When it comes to employee well-being programs, is there a difference between holistic and wholistic approaches?
Depends on how you are looking at it and what your company culture embraces. Technically speaking, although most people will use these two terms interchangeably, there IS a difference. The Merriam-Webster dictionary has even recognized it as such noting that the "w" brings the meaning full circle. Let's explore:
By definition, “wholistic” programs offer a fully integrated, wide scope of services meant to positively impact the whole human being— such as physical mental, social spiritual, and financial. Viewing the universe in terms of "wholes"—that is, organisms and systems instead of molecules and atoms. The same thoughts can be applied to programs associated to human health. We have the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution.
A wholistic program looks to focus on the root of the stressor or cause of imbalance and offers programs to help your staff address those areas for improved self-care. Wholistic programs are capable of servicing ALL employees in their choice of health care. Should an employee with cancer choose natural cancer care, the employer will provide access to a cancer coach or recovery specialist, not just traditional (conventional) cancer care. This is an old, outdated, one-size-fits-all approach and according to the times, people are demanding (safer) improved health care options.
“Holistic” worksite programs, while also affecting spirit, mind and body connection also include alternative eastern philosophies and healing systems such as homeopathy and naturopathic or natural, non-toxic therapy methods.
To sum it all up, it just a play on words and making the decision on how you want to refer to your programs. If we are improving health, we are improving workplace culture.
Regardless of how you decide to coin your company's wellness program, the goal you should be aiming for is to recognize the importance of health and wellbeing as an important driver of employee satisfaction and overall business performance.
If CANCER COACHING is not part of your offerings to your employees, what are you waiting for?
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The most powerful tool we have to ensure we make better health and wellness choices in the future is KNOWLEDGE.