Positively impact your employees and company culture on a much deeper level
Contributed by Reena Vokoun
October 4, 2018
It’s well documented that a corporate wellness program can impact a company’s bottom line by reducing medical costs and insurance claims. While we all know this is a strong and important possibility, having a singular wellness program can only take an employer and its employees so far.
Instead of stopping there, what if your company could adopt a wellness-centric culture that would produce higher performing employees and positively impact your company on a much deeper level?
Below are five ways you can improve employee performance by adopting wellness-centric programs and policies in your company.
1. Reduce negative workplace communications
If you’ve worked for a company of any size, you’ve likely witnessed or experienced workplace politics or gossip. From whispering at the water cooler about what went down at the company holiday party the night before to chatting with colleagues about the newly hired leader of the team and where your roles will fit into the organization in the future, these conversations can turn negative quickly.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, negativity in the workplace costs companies $3 billion per year due to the harmful impacts.
However, if your workplace culture focuses instead on employee wellbeing and employees are participating in team meetings that include open communication, transparency and empathy, chances are they won’t have the time or desire to participate in politics or gossip. Therefore, the key is to create a mentally and emotionally healthy environment through open communication, that not only will help them flourish as individuals and employees, but positively impact the overall company culture as well.
2. Increase accountability inside and outside the office
It’s no secret that top-performing employees feel an innate sense of accountability to their clients, teams and work. However, not all employees operate this way. According to a division of the American Management Association, nearly a quarter of all business leaders feel 30-50% of their employees are lacking in accountability.
If you want to keep your top employees motivated and encourage more employees to perform at their level as well, wellness programs can help. For example, if employees are participating in fitness classes or running groups through the company, they’ll likely feel a sense of accountability to come to classes regularly or show up for early morning group runs, even if they’re at 6:00 a.m. They probably don’t want to let these groups down, especially if they include their coworkers.
This sense of accountability can often translate into their work as well. They’ll be trained and motivated to work hard and deliver on their promises at the gym and the office.
3. Make employees more receptive to constructive criticism
If your employees are provided with wellness programs that include personal trainers or nutrition consultants, they likely will be receiving constructive feedback on their fitness level, weight, eating habits and more. While this type of feedback isn’t always easy to hear, it may help make them more comfortable with receiving constructive feedback or criticism within their work as well.
This is a skill that’s often learned over time and through practice, so workplace wellness initiatives will give ample opportunities to practice and grow this skill.
4. Develop a greater sense of resilience
No matter what industry you work in, you’ll likely face tough situations from time to time, whether it involves a difficult client, a demanding boss or a teammate who isn’t pulling their weight on a project.
However, employees who are given an opportunity to participate regularly in mindfulness or exercise activities, will learn how to take these tough situations in stride, push through them and come out successfully on the other side.
Learning how to practice deep breathing, positive visualizations and connecting with yourself internally, can provide emotional strength in tough situations. Moving your body and engaging in cardiovascular, strength and stretching exercises can also help release endorphins, rid your body of toxins and provide physical and mental strength, which will in turn carry over to your work as well.
5. Create a culture of goal setting and achievement
When you’re involved in a wellness program, or surrounded by a culture focused on wellness, you’ll naturally want to set goals for yourself such as losing weight, eating healthier, exercising more, stopping smoking, training for a race, etc. And when you’re in a goal-oriented mindset and are successful in achieving those goals, it can provide you with the drive to set and achieve goals in other areas of your life as well, such as your career.
Given only an average of 8% of people achieve their goals at the beginning of a new year, employees sometimes need to broaden their focus, take care of themselves from the inside out and gain the confidence to set goals, stick to them and achieve at their full potential.
Hopefully these surprising ways a wellness-centric culture can produce higher performing employees will encourage you to find ways to integrate wellness more within your organization. Thinking about employee needs holistically will not only help them thrive, but the company as well!
About the Author
After obtaining a BBA in marketing and management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS in advertising and communications from Boston University, Reena Vokoun spent several years working in sales, marketing and business development roles for Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Yahoo, Reebok, CNET and GE, while also being a certified health and wellness professional. She also worked for a start-up called Grokker, where she consulted with hundreds of other Fortune 500 companies on corporate wellness solutions. Reena’s own experiences and witnessing others during those years, showed her how much overwork and stress can impact one’s health and life. She is now passionate about educating others, especially professional women and helping them take control of their lives in these areas.
“After being inspired by working for these amazing companies, I now try to ensure my own company, Passion Fit, is wellness-centric in its culture. Given that it’s a health and fitness company, wellness is already deeply woven into my mission and vision, which is to help people flourish from the inside out by focusing on their health, wellness and fitness and to create a local and online wellness community that’s fun and supportive. My business partners, contractors, students and clients are consistently being provided with organic fruits and healthy snacks, water bottles, workout tank tops, stress balls and more. I focus on developing content, education and training around fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and work-life balance and will continue to create a brand and culture that cares about its key stakeholders and is wellness-centric at its core.” – Reena Vokoun
As the founder of Passion Fit, Reena is an expert on consumer and corporate wellness. She works with business and education professionals, companies, non-profits, schools, universities and the media to teach them how to incorporate fitness, nutrition and mindfulness as a lifestyle in order to be authentic leaders, maximize productivity and create work-life balance. She is also the Chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business Alumni Board and a Women in Management Facilitator for Stanford University’s MBA Program. Most importantly, Reena is a mom and a wife with a holistic and unique perspective to help others balance “it all.”
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