Corporate wellness: All you need to know
Leaders of organisations today aspire to grow their companies into consistent high- performing organizations. The VUCA world brings with it immense pressure to do well and perform at par each day. Employee engagement is a key factor for organisations to prosper – with employee energy, vitality as significant indicators of organisational performance.
For organisations to excel and make a difference, taking care of the overall well-being of their employees through Corporate Wellness Programs has been gaining momentum. Myriad researches done in this area reveal that to achieve the highest level of total well- being, wellness incorporates eight mutually interdependent dimensions of wellness, making it a holistic Corporate Wellness approach –
Forward-thinking leaders know that happy, healthy employees mean better business through improved engagement, increased productivity, and a greater sense of purpose and job satisfaction.
Corporate Wellness is Customised
Since every company’s culture, vision, goals, and demographics vary including in multiple locations set-ups where the same organization often have distinct cultures. Therefore, the definition of wellness and their needs can vary substantially.
Uncovering and understanding what wellness means for each organization is the first step to creating a relevant and tailored Corporate Wellness Program.
Corporate Wellness Programs
I have designed Corporate Wellness Programs for Technology companies that focus on knowledge, work, innovation, and timely deliveries of projects. With limited time and resources to support their well-being, team conflicts, performance anxiety, burnout was very high, making them disengaged and unhappy. Corporate Wellness programs were tailored around Emotional (emotional intelligence), Physical (Dancing, Sports, Outdoor Activities) and Mental (Dealing with Performance Anxiety, Mindfulness) as a higher priority.
In another company, an Investment Bank, teams were expected to always be available to their seniors and clients. With mobile devices, laptops, work followed people home and into the weekend. While a significant number of employees were engaged, they were exhausted. This was leading them to chronic stress which was the first sign of imbalanced health and mental well-being.
Occupational stress was costing the bank adversely through absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity and medical costs. Additionally, when employees did show up (presenteeism), they underperformed because of illness or stress, which was costing the bank heavily – they lost few very high net worth clients.
I designed Corporate Wellness Programs for the Bank around Occupational (achieve a balance between work and leisure time, stress management through Fitbit wearables that made them self aware), Social (teaming up with a colleagues to pursue a common hobby, having a meal together once in the week, planning time off from work), and Financial (high-risk jobs at the bank created fear of job loss – regular updates on financial programs they
could invest in, reap profits from, long term investments that made them secure) as a higher priority.
Wellness is no longer an employee benefit or a cost-saving measure. Healthy and compassionate companies attract and retain top talent, getting the most out of their employees. These employees will outperform and outlive competition.
Wellness translates directly into performance. Evolved companies understand that well-being and performance are inseparable from one another—and treat their corporate wellness program as an integral part of their business strategy.
Key Ingredients to a Valuable, Holistic Corporate Wellness Program:
Whether creating a corporate wellness program from scratch or improving an existing one, it’s important to evaluate the fundamental purpose of the program from the following parameters-
What is the intention of offering a corporate wellness program? A corporate wellness program is a long-term approach to health and wellbeing. What needs to be added, deleted, or modified to create a culture that supports the 8 aspects as mentioned above.
Do Corporate Wellness programs create self-awareness and self-responsibility? Understanding what drives the core issues and empower employees to be decisive? How do employers add meaning to their lives and in turn create a powerful purpose for themselves and the organisation?
Do the Corporate Wellness Programs cover all corporate populations and divisions when creating communication of the wellness program message? Customising communication as per the target audience will have a higher impact and response.
Do the Corporate Wellness Programs create trust by following through with the program’s mission? Does leadership at every level walk the talk? Is support being created for issues that come up? Will wellness continue to be prioritized? Morale and personal attitudes around wellness will determine engagement.
Corporate Wellness Programs are a choice for employees to exercise. It cannot be mandated. Encouraging them to focus on themselves, being self-aware and focussed on their own well being will make them happy and committed individuals. One physical wellness exercise that my clients have benefited from –
Oil Pulling: The process involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene. Since the mouth is a window to the health of the body, it can indicate signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. The mouth is filled with countless bacteria, some linked to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Researchers have found that periodontitis (the advanced form of periodontal disease that can cause tooth loss) is linked with other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia.
Likewise, pregnant women with periodontitis may be at increased risk of delivering preterm and/or low-birth-weight infants. Modern oil pulling is derived from ancient Ayurveda, which comprises of two forms – Gandusha and Kavala Graha.
Gandusha involves filling the mouth completely with oil so that swishing is impossible. The oil is held in the mouth for 3 to 5 minutes and then released (spat out).
Kavala Graha involves filling the mouth with a comfortable amount of oil for 3 minutes, gargled, and then the oil is released (spat out).
Modern Oil Pulling:
Usually, one of the extra virgin variety of Coconut oil, Sunflower Oil, Sesame oil or Olive oil is used for the process. A tablespoon of oil is swished in the mouth (like mouthwash) for 10 to 20 minutes and then released (spat out).
Today, coconut oil has become the most popular oil used. Adding coconut oil pulling to your regular oral hygiene routine has shown the following benefits :
- Prevents dental caries
- Improves oral hygiene
- Decreases oral microbial count
- Inhibits plaque from adhering to teeth and oral surfaces
- Reduces gingivitis
- Reduces halitosis
- Whitens teeth
In addition to regular oral practice, oil pulling is known to add to overall physical health by literally “pulling” the toxins and bacteria out of the mouth, also “pulling wellness in”. Healthy staff implies healthy organisations.
Anu Sachar is a Thriive-Verified Life Coaching Expert who is in a happy space as a Psychologist, Certified Coach. Her clients include- Children, Young adults, Entrepreneurs, Corporate leaders, Creative people, Start-ups, Professionals, and Home-makers.