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Let's Get Healthy - In Our Work Environment!


Sarah Mojena, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Crystal Run Healthcare weighs in on what it takes to have a healthy work environment.

There’s a lot of talk these days about “healthy work environments” and while it obviously sounds positive by the term, what exactly does it mean? Do you work in one? How can you tell the health of an organization’s work environment prior to accepting an offer for employment?

What is a healthy work environment?

First, let’s discuss what a healthy work environment is and why it’s important. A healthy work environment is the overall setting at your place of employment including culture, communication, safety, support and recognition to name a few. A healthy work environment is important because it will help ensure happiness with employment, motivate employees to produce to the best of their abilities, reduce turnover and make each employee feel engaged.

So, how does an organization create a healthy work environment? Great question! Let’s look at a few essential characteristics.


Company Culture is the unique personality of an organization which includes fundamental values and behaviors. What values does the organization hold as important? Are they committed to philanthropy? How do they treat their employees? Does your company promote upward progression? Do they foster a teamwork-oriented atmosphere or more of an autonomous one? To feel motivated by an organizations culture, you must feel your values and behaviors align with those of the company. Keep in mind that most organizational cultures are ever-changing and evolving. This is not something that can change overnight and is generally developed over time as practices are tried and adopted.


Communication is arguably one of the most important characteristics in an organization that has a healthy work environment. Are new policies and procedures communicated from management down through the rest of staff? If employees have questions regarding policies, procedures or day-to-day tasks, do they know who to ask for clarification? Do they feel comfortable to communicate their ideas on how to improve current processes? When employees feel they have effective routes of communication they will feel more comfortable discussing issues that may lead to dissatisfaction. When employees feel like they can openly discuss dissatisfaction, managers have a chance to rectify the situation. Open communication will help organizations retain employees and improve processes.  


Empowerment means giving employees a pat on the back for a job well done, correct? Not always. Managers these days need to understand their employees and understand the type of praise they respond best to. While some employees are perfectly happy and feel a sense of empowerment with a thumbs up or pat on the back, many others feel empowered in different ways. Some examples include being given additional responsibilities, feeling trusted by their managers to work autonomously, seeing an increase in their paycheck, creating clear lines of progression to work towards and learning in the form of education .

One thing, however, is certain, no matter what the job is, an employee should clearly know what their role is and what their responsibilities are. Employees can’t do a job well done if they aren’t sure what that means. Employees who feel empowered tend to feel more loyalty to an organization, more satisfied with their position and tend to be more productive. Do you feel empowered?

Supportive managers can help create a healthy work environment by building trust among team members and keeping their doors open for transparent communication. One way managers can promote open communication and increase moral is through performance evaluations. This helps keep employees up-to-speed on how they’re doing in their position and gives them a chance to give feedback to their managers. At Crystal Run, we like to have some fun while making our work environment healthy! Some fun options, and Crystal Run favorites, include wellness programs, star employee award incentives, dress down days and employee BBQ’s.

“We continue to take steps to ensure we have a healthy work environment for our employees!   Active Wellness Committees lead this effort with a variety of programs – Weight Watchers, Zumba, Yoga, Coupon Classes, group hikes, CSA programs, financial wellness sessions, blood drives, etc.  We are very involved in our local communities and encourage our employees to join us as we walk, run and move throughout the Hudson Valley” said Mary DeFreitas, BBA, MPS, Chief Human Resources Officer at Crystal Run Healthcare.

We spend a large amount of time at work and with our co-workers, so why not take part in creating an environment we want to go to everyday? Maybe take a look around your department and think of some ways to make the environment healthier and more enjoyable to be in. It can start with you and your ideas!


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