Salutogenic as a term is used a lot by Healthy Place to Work. I decided to read “The Handbook of Salutogenesis”. It proved to be very interesting (and long). Salutogenic can best be described as a stoic approach to health. Entrepreneurs will like it.
Salutogenesis is the origins of health and focuses on factors that support human health and well-being rather than on factors that cause disease (pathogenesis). It s people the tools to manage stress (in all its forms) and stay well. Coping with life and all it throws at you, including work. In the salutogenic theory, people continually battle with the effects of hardship. How that battle affects your coherence or core being determines your health.
Prevention is key
And then, the trick is to prevent illness instead of treating illness. A holistic approach to health. Taking all the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and environmental dimensions into account. Because all of these factors impact your health. Where you understand who you are, what your core is and what factors effects you positive and negatively and how to deal with them proactively.
The impact of work
One important factor is work. If work would take a salutogenic approach to health, your organisation would take a positive, proactive, holistic, preventive approach to your well-being. Unfortunately, the experience is quite different. That is why Healthy Place to Work has taken all health factors into account and developed a model to measure how salutogenic companies are. The measurement is the basis for the tools the companies need to become restorative to health instead of making you unwell.
The comparison with climate change and sustainability is quickly made. The same way companies have been bad for the environment, the same way they are bad for you. Increasingly you see companies applying the triple bottom line and adopting ESG. But it needs to go further (as with climate change). Total natural capital costs need to be considered, including the impact on our health. Our current profit and loss model does not consider the actual price of activities to the climate and people. Hence Healthy Place to Work. Helping organisations to move to a preventative and restorative model.