Why Investing in Corporate Wellness Provides Great Returns

This blog was also featured in SmartCEO’s ‘Jolt’ series, and can be found here.

Let’s talk wellness and what that means to the corner office executive. When we think of our health and bettering it, most of us think that if we could just make time to get to the gym or go on a run; that this would help. When, sadly, these things often get pushed aside in the competitive and demanding world we live in. Or, in worst cases, we put off going to the doctor to avoid cold realities and simply carry on hoping that someday our lives will slow down and we can make a change for the better. And, the main culprit of our distractions to better health? Our jobs. Let’s face it, most of us need to work to survive (and to be fulfilled) and therefore must be employed. In order to stay employed, we need to be productive and play nicely in the sandbox with others. Some of us tend to push tasks aside that help sustain our healthy selves, at no fault of our own, in the essence of time and demands put on us. So, when employees come to the end of their tolerance abilities; they often point to their employers as the culprit. They then leave, or in worst cases, are forced to leave for health reasons. In all respects, the results, whether it be poor productivity due to unhealthiness and stress or turnover due to medical or even misguided pointing…it effects the bottom line in a big way.

A Healthy Vision

How can organizations help to curve this vicious cycle to, not only reduce burnout and turnover, but boost productivity and ultimately loyalty? A healthy vision is required and just like the paradigm described above; the same thought process lurks within the executive ranks and nothing changes as a result. A true conviction to the staff and their well-being must start in the corner office. A vision for corporate wellness and healthy returns, physically and monetarily speaking, is imperative for change.

Once a vision and message has been disseminated, employees will rally around it as it only serves to make them better, overall, and not seen as a chore “they will get to”, but as a “luxury of their job”.  A well-built program changes thought processes and mindsets towards positive changes that build healthy habits and results. All the while building employee engagement and loyalty…every executives’ dream come true.

A Unique Approach

Employees are human and all of us are unique with our own needs and process to meet them. While there are certainly health practices that are beneficial for all people, a great wellness program needs to understand its’ organization’s unique needs and curate programs around them. This calls for open communication with employees so that the program developer can identify what is most important to them. It is key that needs are recognized rather than assumed or even the best efforts fall short. For this reason, it can be of great benefit for companies to turn to Health experts for assistance in developing and implementing their plan. Real experts are able to bring an objective perspective along with proven theories, methodologies and programming, to combine with the unique knowledge of the company to engage for collaborative success.

Mind over Body

While most of us center health ideologies on our physical body, it is equally, if not more important, to focus on the mind. Thus the phrase “mind over matter”. While the implementation of exercise program is a great start, it is just scratching the surface of what a truly comprehensive wellness plan should include. A great wellness plan addresses and enhances the much-needed understanding and skill building in: food choices and overall health, self-worth and mindfulness, goal-setting and time management, stress management and interpersonal communications. These elements combined with physical programming enhance participation creating better results.

The truth is most of us either don’t realize or don’t want to admit how our mental and physical states effect and reflect in our work performance – it’s more transparent than we think. With a corporate wellness program that provides the framework for employees to: set and meet tangible goals, remain calm and focused with a clear mind and fit body, providing direction and coaching along the way, an organization can empower its employees to the very best they can…whole from the inside out. It’s really simple, actually, help your staff be their best selves, and you will get their best work.

Physical – Mental

And while every attempt does matter, this efforts (often times missed) are not the only aspects of staying healthy. Atypically try to make time for a quick gym trip or going on a run. The tougher ones of us might even consider some kind of diet like cutting out carbs. However, to the truly conscious individual, health is much more than that and should be addressed as such.

Many people have the misconception that practicing good health is something reserved exclusively for the gym, or workout days. However, this could not be farther from the truth. A good health plan is one that encompasses all aspects of your life and can be practiced throughout your daily routine – especially during your most vulnerable or stressed moments.  For the working majority of us, the office is where we face these moments most often and hence, should be where our health plan begins.