Finding out about a company's wellness program is a great question to ask during your job interviews. You may think of corporate wellness as focused only on physical health, but it can also include mental health components and professional development. Just as you ask about a typical day or week in your new role to learn more about a company's culture, ask about their wellness program to find out how they prioritize their employees wellbeing.
Appropriate work-life balance is essential for wellness and mental health.
Companies implement wellness programs to increase collaboration, boost productivity, and decrease absenteeism - all factors that help them retain employees that help their bottom line. But for companies that see their employees as more than a means to the end, you'll find their wellness programs go above and beyond the national average.
Ask about insurance coverage for mental health programs or stress reduction initiatives the company spearheads. For example, they may have a weekly meditation or yoga class onsite, or provide free subscriptions to online counseling programs.
In terms of work-life balance, ask questions during your interview to determine if the job you are looking at is going to be pressure-based and deadline-driven, and if that is a good fit for you or not. Ask to interview with the person you would be reporting to as well as someone adjacent to you on the hierarchy.
Ask questions about expectations - are you expected to be online 24/7? Is working late something expected? Does it occur often due to poor planning or because of the unpredictability of the job?
For the physical health side of wellness, some companies may have a workplace health promotion programs for a variety of conditions, including alcohol and substance abuse, blood pressure, cancer, heart disease risk factors (cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, nutrition, tobacco use) and work-related injuries, among others. In fact, the CDC has a dedicated space around research and successful initiatives for workplace health promotion.
In fact, the CDC publishes an annual Worksite Health Scorecard that can help you decide about certain initiatives you may want your next job site to have. Examples include:
Some companies have your supervisor function as your career coach, while others assign you a mentor separate from your supervisor.
During your interview, ask "How do you support employee professional development?"
They may mention career coaches, supporting your attendance at conferences or to publish papers, as well as other programs or initiatives such as tuition coverage for continuing education.
Ask if employees are expected to obtain any specific credentials, and if the costs associated with those credentials are reimbursed. Costs may include study materials and exam registration, as well as costs associated with continuing education units (CEUs). Some companies subscribe to online services that deliver continuing education units or ongoing professional education regardless of certification status.
For example, Learning Bank - https://www.learningbank.io/learning-and-development - provides a way for employers to ensure the learning and development goals and journey of their entire staff are met.
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