Improving health and well-being in the workplace is the purpose of a new program for faculty and staff at the University of Guelph.

The Wellness@Work initiative, to be launched May 3, is intended to support a thriving workforce, said Don O’Leary, vice-president (finance, administration and risk).

Tailored to the University’s culture, the initiative will focus on four pillars of a healthy workplace as identified by Excellence Canada, a non-profit organization committed to improving performance in Canadian organizations.

Those pillars are healthy lifestyles, mental health and workplace culture, corporate social responsibility and physical environment.

“You spend a significant part of your day at work, and your experiences here influence your overall health and happiness,” said O’Leary, who chairs the healthy workplace advisory committee.

Wellness@Work is supported by president Franco Vaccarino and coordinated by the committee, consisting of 19 representatives from across campus.

“Supporting a healthy workplace at the University of Guelph is a priority for senior leadership,” said O’Leary.

President Franco Vaccarino speaks at an event marking the launch of the Wellness@Work initiative
President Franco Vaccarino speaks at an event marking the launch of the Wellness@Work initiative

“This initiative has far-reaching benefits for all of our employees. It will help us go further in creating an environment where everyone can be their best selves.”

Established last year, the committee has assessed the University’s workplace health efforts for strengths and opportunities, and helped develop a healthy workplace policy for U of G.

O’Leary said the committee is now inviting faculty and staff to participate in the Wellness@Work initiative in several ways:

  • The committee will recruit “healthy workplace champions” to help share wellness information and to encourage colleagues to take part in Wellness@Work programming.
  • Faculty and staff members will be invited to complete a wellness survey, intended to help assess U of G’s progress toward meeting national standards for psychological health and safety in the workplace.
  • During Healthy Workplace Month in October, faculty and staff are invited to take part in healthy workplace activities, events and challenges.
  • The committee welcomes suggestions from all faculty and staff at

More information can be found on the University of Guelph’s Wellness@Work website.