Do You Exercise With Your Staff?
Why you should have a Corporate Wellness Plan
Gone are the days of companies offering staff free healthcare, dentists and paying to open parks in the community. The money, and time just aren't there. We are busier than ever, both in our professional lives and even more so with our home lives. Dealing with kids, pets, relatives and that's just when things are going well. Factor in an illness or injury and everything is thrown out of sync.
Finding a Work/Life balance can be difficult. Considering for example an average person commutes over two hours per day to and from work, is on site for work eight hours per day and engaged in other work related or stress activities for two hours. We spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying about, preparing for and at work.
Take Mary: Mary is a married working mother of two kids. She wakes at 5:45am every morning, in North Dublin city. Spending the next hour readying herself for her corporate banking job before the kids wake, the next 45 minutes arguing with them over breakfast, uniforms and homework before saying good bye at 7:30am to commute to work.
Now Mary, squashed onto the bus is in the "Grey Mass" as she joins the ranks of thousands of nameless suits isolated within crowds with no eye contact or conversation travelling in droves to the city centre for work. Each with their own hurried, head down shuffle. Already answering emails, checking Facebook and reading about the bad news others around the world have had since she last checked her social media before bed.
Great start to the day? Sound Familiar?
Now she is to work for the eight next hours, before doing it all in reverse finally ending in her finally sitting down after cooking dinner and some house work at maybe 7pm almost 13 hours after she started.
Where is the time for health and wellness in this and what can her employers do to help her and her colleagues while in turn helping themselves?
Corporate Wellness Programmes are designed to bring some sense of equilibrium to this Work/Life balance.
So you have for the most part Three main components. Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset
We have all done the manual handling course companies mandate we do. Red tape to cover the company incase of work place injury. Lift a box, put the box down. Walk with a trolly or move a chair. Sit ergonomically at your desk. Okay, it has it's uses, but for the most part it is crap and here is why.
If you are a 40 year old man, who sits at a desk for 8 hours plus a day and the only form of exercise you undertake is running for the bus. You just don't have the flexibility or mobility to get down to the floor in order to lift the box. We are running before we walk and it is wrong, all just to cover the companies ass in the case of an accident.
By implementing a corporate wellness programme on the other hand, you go the other way. You encourage a healthy lifestyle to better educate and equip the staff to perform at their peak in order to prevent injury rather than just cover for when it happens. So here are the benefits.
Fitness & Nutrition:
- Increased physical fitness and a better diet means more stamina. Staff can sustain higher standards for longer without peaks and dips in performance and mood.
- Less mood swings mean morale in the office is better as are interactions with customers.
- Less work related injury. Staff are fit for the job and less likely to be hurt doing it.
- Less short term or uncertified sick days. Fit, healthy people are less likely to become ill or injured. Elevated mood means less social depression and the It's cold and wet out, I can't be arsed going to work syndrome.
- Less long term or certified sick leave.
One US Company, Coors Brewery reported an 18% reduction in Absenteeism after implimenting a corporate wellness programme.
- Happy and healthy employees have a higher work volume than Unhappy, Unhealthy staff members.
- Staff retention is higher, meaning less valuable time and cost wasted on recruitment and training.
- Team work and Community. By staff working together for a fun reason, we precondition the brain to associate the other people with fun and positive feelings.
- Increased Esteem. Increased Self Esteem in staff members lead to many benefits including less time focused or recovering from negatives. Increased interaction and engagement, less sick leave and absenteeism and less fear of failure or preconditioned negative attitudes.
- Increased self awareness. Emotional intelligence is one of the biggest things lacking in society today. If you had a broken arm, you would check it. Your mental and emotional health is just as, if not more important. Increased awareness means staff are more likely to take care of their mental health resulting in better overall health.
- Increased Self Acceptance and sense of Social Entitlement. Again supporting staff and helping them understand, who they are is good enough. Encouraging them to learn more about who they are as opposed to what they believe the world expects. Leading to less negative mindsets, more self belief and increased acceptance of challenges and responsibilities.
Each and every one of these benefits, not only bring back some sense of normality to the lives of staff, giving them more control and appreciation for what they do have, it also means increased revenue for the company. Returns in increased work rates, less smoke breaks, higher workload turnover with less stress. Less spent on absenteeism and recruitment. Higher rates of customer satisfaction and better interactions with happier staff which means more returning business which in turn means business growth and more jobs.
No matter how big or small your team is. Everyone benefits. What are you waiting for?
How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it? What other choice do you have?
For more information on Corporate Wellness Projects. See www.peptalk.ie