Wellness Toolkit for Managers

Managers play an important role in supporting employee wellness. Encourage and support your team in engaging in wellness to help them be happier, healthier and more productive.

Supporting Employee Wellness



Nurse Manager

The Ohio State University Wellness Strategic Plan

Vision: To be the healthiest university and community on the globe

Rationale: “A growing body of research evidence indicates that employees and students who have higher levels of wellness:

  1. Are more engaged, productive, and satisfied,
  2. Perform at higher levels, including academics,
  3. Miss less work and school, and
  4. Are at a lower risk for the development of chronic disease, which affects one out of two people and accounts for more than 75% of U.S. healthcare spending.

84% percent of Ohio State faculty and staff believe that it is important for the university to promote and support the health and well-being of all Buckeyes.” 

Create a culture of wellness in your department/unit by using these tips and resources.

Learn about Ohio State’s employee wellness programs

  • Ensure your team is aware of the wellness resources and programs available to them and how to use them
  • Endorse wellness initiatives and programs 
  • Discuss upcoming wellness events and services via email, during meetings or huddles – encourage your team to sign up for the Buckeye Wellness News and Events newsletter
  • Embed health and well-being promotion in multiple aspects of your department or unit’s structure (onboarding, trainings, meetings, celebrations, etc.) 


Manager and Supervisor

Make sure your team is encouraged to participate in wellness while at work

  • Find ways to schedule wellness activities for the team
  • Provide support or alternatives for employees whose jobs make it difficult to participate in wellness while at work
  • Create a “backup” for employees who work at a service point 
  • Leverage Buckeye Wellness Innovators in your department for assistance


Lead by example


Build connections and community with team members

  • Check-in with direct reports regularly, especially during times of transition
  • Go beyond “How are you?” by being intentional with questions and actively participate in the conversation with your team member(s)
  • Don’t assume what individuals need, take a customized approach to helping address stressors
  • Recognize wellness achievements and milestones; show appreciation regularly.
  • If one of your team looks burnout, anxious or depressed, talk to them and ask “are you OK?”
  • Create connection opportunities for team members through weekly touch bases or Microsoft Teams channels


Set and respect healthy boundaries

  • Don’t send emails after work hours
  • Save emails as a draft and send the next day or use delay delivery
  • Create “email holidays” or schedule days where sending emails should be limited to allow the team to focus on individual work
Manager shaking hands


  • Start meetings with a dose of Vitamin G (gratitude) by having people name one person or thing they are grateful for
  • Encourage standing movement (standing, stretching, walking, etc.) during in-person or virtual meetings 
  • Hold meetings outside in a place where the team can see nature or a different view
  • Shorten meetings by 10 or 15 minutes and use the extra time to disengage from work and engage in a wellness activity (e.g., practice mindfulness, take 5 deep abdominal breaths, take a brisk walk, climb the stairs, dance to music, etc.)
  • Create “meeting holidays” where meetings cannot be scheduled (except for emergencies) to allow the team to focus on individual work


Team Activities

  • Create or join team challenges in Your Plan for Health (YP4H)
  • Share wellness ideas and successful wellness activities
  • Create a gratitude board, post one for the office or use Teams or a similar software to develop one digitally
  • Host free trainings and seminars aimed at building relationships with team members 
  • Collaborate to create team wellness goals around Ohio State’s Dimensions of Wellness


Encourage Use of Leave Time and Flexible Work

  • Use sick leave for self-care as appropriate, see FAQ’s
  • Communicate the importance of using time off to prevent burnout
  • Discuss how to plan as a team to take time off to reduce stress and workload upon return
  • Encourage regular breaks from mental tasks, allowing team members time to generate new and creative solutions or ideas
  • Time away reduces stress and helps employees maintain focus when at work
  • Review and share Flexible Work Resources

Your Plan for Health – Ohio State’s preventive approach for providing benefit-eligible faculty/staff and their enrolled spouses with the tools and resources for living a healthy life. Earn financial rewards for healthy habits, discover personalized wellness support and participate in healthy living challenges.

Virgin Pulse Your Plan for Health’s digital platform that provides personalized tools and support to meet your well-being goals and a variety of opportunities to earn points and rewards for building healthy habits.

Office of the Chief Wellness Officer – Learn more about our Chief Wellness Officer, evidence-based programs and initiatives. Leverage tips and strategies to optimize your and your team’s overall health and well-being, including the Health Athlete Energy Management program and MINDSTRONGTM, a cognitive-behavioral skills building and coping program that decreases stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms.

  • Buckeye Wellness – provides innovative and evidence-based programs to help faculty, staff, students, and the university community optimize their well-being.
  • Buckeye Wellness Innovators – become a champion for wellness at work.
  • Archived Lunch and Learns – access on demand presentations on a wide variety of wellness topics.
  • Other Programs – offers free fitness classes, educational programs and special events for Ohio State faculty, staff, students, alumni and family members of faculty and staff.

Group Fitness Archive from Rec Sports – on demand fitness classes

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – offers private in the moment support, free counseling, work-life services, crisis support for departments and more.

Wexner Medical Center Well-being Resources – specific programming and support for medical center faculty and staff

Health and wellness event calendar – houses all faculty and staff wellness events, webinars and programs.

Gateway to Learning – on demand professional development resources for building your skills and knowledge.

Ohio State: Wellness app Find resources, connect to support, set goals and build healthy habits. The app supports your mental health and well-being on campus. 

Ohio State Health Plan – provider of Your Plan for Health’s health management and wellness support programs.

  • Archived Webinars – access on demand webinars on a wide variety of wellness topics.
  • Weight Management – Access the BMI/Weight Management Overview and free printable resources to get started with time management, healthy eating, and stress reduction.
  • Health Coaching/Group Health Coaching – receive unlimited and confidential health coaching 1:1 or in group sessions by topic.
  • LinkToHealth – Website to register for a biometric screening, flu shot, fitness classes, educational programs and group health coaching. Search by date or keyword.
  • Chair Massages – Departments can request complimentary, on-site chair massage events for benefits-eligible faculty and staff once a year.
  • Biometric Screening & Flu Vaccinations – Departments can request onsite screening and vaccination events for their staff.
  • Buckeye Baby – receive group and individual support through you or your partners’ pregnancy.