William McPeck
3 min readJan 25, 2021

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Wholeness In the Workplace

mcpeckmentoring@gmail.com

Can We Achieve Wholeness Outside of a Systems Approach?

There is increasing chatter within the worksite wellness community today about the need to address the whole person. If one really looks at and understands the concepts of wellness and wellbeing, one will clearly see that by their very nature, wellness and wellbeing are both already whole person approaches. Both are multi-dimensional or consist of multiple domains.

Unfortunately, universal consensus based definitions, descriptions and models for both wellness and wellbeing have failed to emerge. The only consensus found today lies in the fact that both wellness and wellbeing are seen as multi-dimensional or consist of multiple domains. The exact number of dimensions or domains varies by model, as does what they are called by name.

Within an organization, for the sake of clarity, this means that each and every organization must define/describe what wellness or wellbeing means in that organization and how many and which dimensions or domains will be included in the organization’s model of wellness/wellbeing. An organization can either create its own definition, description and model, or it can readily adopt each from the existing, readily available published examples.

Another thing we know and have consensus around is that the various dimensions or domains, while being independent of each other, are very much interconnected, interrelated and many are interdependent. This speaks to the interconnection and interrelationships of the mind, body and spirit.

This interconnection and interrelationship suggests to me that addressing wholeness means addressing the interconnection and interrelationship of the various dimensions or domains of wellness and wellbeing. The interconnection and interrelationship also suggests to me that if we truly want to have an impact on employee health, wellness and wellbeing, we must approach each as a system. In a workplace, the systems of employee health, wellness and wellbeing are also systems within larger systems which are the workplace and the organization as a whole. Workplace and organizations are both systems within their own right.

A system is simply a group of interacting and interrelating parts that form a unified whole. A system is both surrounded by and heavily influenced by the environment in which it operates.

This is why, in the case of employee health, wellness or wellbeing, it is critical for employers to address employee health, wellness and wellbeing at both the individual and organizational levels. Not addressing both levels is only doing half of the necessary work.

Unfortunately, most of the time today employee health, wellness and wellbeing initiatives only focus on the individual level. And even at this level, far too often programming and interventions focus only on one or a couple of the interacting and interrelated parts and not the health, wellness or wellbeing of employees in its wholeness or as a system.

If we truly want to address the wholeness of employees, we must focus our efforts at a systems level. To address wholeness absolutely requires a systems type approach.

©2021. William McPeck. All Rights Reserved.

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William McPeck

Bill McPeck has been involved as a leader and practitioner in employee health, safety, wellness and wellbeing for close to 30 years.