Corporate Wellness programs are springing up all over the place. The term “wellness” is the new hot buzzword in company-speak. I don’t even like that word for many reasons, the most obvious is that we need ‘Wellbeing,’ not wellness.
Wellbeing is a proactive approach to living an optimal lifestyle. We all want to be healthy to prevent disease and other health issues. This is a continuing process through which the individual becomes aware of and makes choices toward a more successful and healthy existence. So how does this concept translate for you?
In an ideal corporate world, your employees would come to work happy and alert with smiling faces and a stress-free attitude, never missing a single day at the office, eager to take on the business world.
Sound impossible? A pipe dream? Out of your realm of reality? In truth, you see your workers come in tired and cranky, with a bad case of caffeine and sugar addiction. They’re stressed to their limit, not able to concentrate, needing 32 hours in their 24 hour day. There are always deadlines to meet and depending on your type of business; design and editing issues, accounting problems and/or client meetings…you get the idea. Plus there is the stress of keeping upper management informed and happy.
What if you’re a one-man (or woman!) operation? That can be even worse! The pressures of your daily work-life can be overwhelming. After all, you’re doing EVERYTHING-from keeping your books to writing your marketing material. Working too much can lead to extreme imbalance, which in turn leads to unhealthy eating and a sedentary lifestyle because you’re too tired to move! Bad eating habits and lack of exercise inhibit cognitive performance, promote lethargy and bad moods and often cause illness and lowered immune response. Sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen with the stress of deadlines, making executive decisions, eating unhealthful snacks in between meals or skipping meals altogether, all affect performance. And don’t get me started on not having time to PLAY! Eesh!
Whether you’re running a multi-national corporation or a business out of the garage, keeping healthy, balanced and fit makes it easy to deal with life’s unexpected crises. Staying healthy also means less insurance costs and that’s a win-win whether you work for yourself or have 300 employees! For corporations, the goal is to reduce the hospitalizations, doctor visits, and pricey prescriptions associated with poor health habits.
A good corporate wellbeing program addresses all of these issues and not only helps each individual to improve their personal health, reduce stress and help increase creativity, but educates them so they can continue these new habits outside of the office. They feel better, they are more focused, less stressed and experience fewer sick days. A healthier workforce can mean not only lower direct health-care costs but also reduced absenteeism, improved attitudes, better physical condition and performance of your employees, and higher productivity.
The bottom line improves; the company looks great to others within the industry which makes it more attractive to top-tier clientele because health and wellbeing is forefront in the news. It’s a winning situation for everyone!
OK-now we know what a “Wellbeing” Program” DOES….but what IS it?
The honest answer is….it depends on what you want to accomplish. Wellbeing programs can be incredibly in-depth, and have programs that include everything from daily stretch breaks, “Imagination Breaks(TM)” and acupuncture treatments to having custom corporate gyms with personal trainers, and weekly seminars and classes on financial, relationship and even environmental health. Anything and everything that helps keep employees on track, at peak performance and happy!
What’s right for you? If you work alone, “give” yourself a wellbeing program. How about a trainer twice a week? Take a meditation class. Perhaps a nutritionist who can get your eating under control. Splurge on yourself and get a full body massage once a month. Go window shopping! (Yes, even that is a form of play!) If you give yourself the gift of health, you’ll get it back in spades by being more productive, content and less stressed.
Corporate Wellbeing is fast becoming the best way to improve employee performance. With the proper guidance, positive reinforcement and a thorough program that has something for everyone, any company will indeed have happy and alert employees who get sick less often. Productivity will increase which will help the bottom line. The employees will be healthier, better informed about their personal health, have increased morale and better focus which lowers their stress level. What a win-win situation!