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How 2020 Has Transformed Corporate Wellness

Written by Neelam Harjani, Founder of Inspire Yoga and Tracy Tsang, Founder of T for Teams.

Big organizations have recognized that workplace wellness initiatives have had a significant improvement to business metrics, enhancing personal wellbeing enhances team performance. How does that relate to SMEs and startups? Without sophisticated systems. branding and structures of multinationals, aren’t the people more integral to driving business growth? With a greater emphasis on team members to determine the success of the company, can business today afford the risk of burnout, high attrition rates, chronic stress levels? It’s time this responsibility is taken by leaders and managers to help individuals collectively, happy and healthy people make more effective teams.

Given the current climate of unprecedented uncertainty and change since Covid-19, there has been a global increase in burnout since Covid-19 according to a recent global survey by Ogilvy with 7000 consumers in 14 countries. 80% of respondents are looking for wellness solutions and 77% recognizing that wellness is extremely important for them personally.

Management consultants purport that the surest way to keep your customers happy is by having a team that is happy to work and serve the business objectives. Burnout, stress, and anxiety leads to problems including a decrease in productivity, in the long run, poor communication, disengaged employees, low energy and team morale, depression, increased medical leave, inability to have the mental clarity required for good decision making, and ultimately this results in team performance, client satisfaction, and business results. 

Startup entrepreneurs and employees are more prone and end up absorbing more pressure as the survival of their business vision is in their hands despite the small teams and limited resources they have to work with. Stress hormones are experienced when we see circumstances as a threat to our survival, doesn’t that ring true when navigating the changing landscape of the world with Coronavirus? The more sustained stress levels become the more the workplace engenders that ‘flight or flight’ mechanism hindering communication, cooperation and problem-solving, wellbeing, and team development become a critical component to increase the resilience of the team and protect the continuity of business operations.

Rather than waiting until it turns into a mental health issue, what if we consider the ideal outcome for your team and business and work towards that instead by prioritizing wellbeing, personal/professional growth, and purpose? 

What you can expect to gain from wellness programs clearly impact the bottom line, what would the ROI of such initiatives be for your firm? Thriving as a team means better business results, happy clients, a joyful and productive working environment, your team constantly growing into the best version of themselves with incredible synergy, reducing the need for taking sick leave (absenteeism), increased employee engagement & retention, and attracting high-quality employees who want to work for your company because of the strong team culture and a sense of purpose. According to a Cigna survey in 2018 92% of the workforce suffer from daily stress and 87% receive inadequate support from their company, it’s time to change what it means to provide as an employer, there is a clear need to contribute to employee health; financial, physical, emotional and mental.

How can you support the health of your business?

* Startups need simple yet transformational interventions that have a massive impact but do not require a massive budget. Make a positive social impact, increased engagement in these programs show that the team cares about each other which is the building block for strong teams and brands. We’re creating a new category centered around thriving with purpose by improving team wellbeing, happiness, culture, and performance for startup and SME teams

* Regular and proper self-care practice for individuals lead to a better mood, increase in energy level and performance

* Teams that are purpose-driven are bonded by values beyond maximizing profit, lead to a higher level of emotional fulfillment at work and create authentically purposeful brands. Consumers care more about what brands stand for especially post Covid-19.

* With over 70% of our lives spent at work, it should be something to look forward to and help you grow into the best version of yourself by creating the lens of change as an opportunity to grow rather than a threat to survival.

Startups and SMEs need to support and encourage their employees to prioritize wellbeing best practices as a team on a day to day basis, the compounding power of habit creation ensures there is awareness around the holistic wellness of the team instead of introducing interventions when it’s too late and engagement is low. The goal of this approach is to take preventative measures rather than trying to use health plans and support groups to deal with underlying issues, when awareness is invested early it saves a lot of resources trying to correct a problem that has been long undetected and systemically suppressed in the workplace.

When there is a community build at the workplace motivation becomes intrinsic from a shared value system, this is the importance of purpose. Startups have seen major success by bringing social causes to combine with business success, the case study of Tom’s shoes and how the ‘one for one’ motto catapulted the brand value of the company when they pledged every pair of shoes sold they donate a pair of shoes to the underprivileged. Contributing a percentage of profits to causes the teams collectively believe in means they galvanize with a larger vision and on an emotional level, propelled by “doing good for the world each day they come to work” as they see their actions being an agent of change to global issues such as poverty and pollution. Meaningful teambuilding -> purposeful teams

The cost of unwellness materially reduces profitability, it is estimated by up to 20%, this includes staff turnover and re-training costs (6.3%), absenteeism and medical costs (1.7%), productivity costs (12.6%), these numbers are rising with the global pandemic, now more than ever people remain in constant fear of their health, finances, future, families. This is an opportunity for you to create an office culture that inspires creativity, openness, enthusiasm to innovate courageously without being paralyzed by the fear of failure. The of today leaders can distinguish their companies by integrating human values again, where there is joy and fun associated with being at work and to cultivate a culture that allows sensitivity, empathy, compassion and provides a safe space for individuals to be themselves without the stigma of being marginalized or labeled as ‘weak’ in these difficult times, let’s shed the façade of bravado and redesign a much more connected team dynamic to inspire of a new economic paradigm driven by purpose, principle, and profit.

Occupational wellness includes:

– Setting up a workplace wellness program for your Startup/SME

– Create healthy habits

– Build a community

– Coaching/training offer timely guidance, actionable next steps, motivation, engagement, accountability, reward, a successful path towards your ideal outcome

– Boost immune system - nutrition, healthy cooking, fitness, movement, emotional wellbeing, lunch, and healthy snacks

– Improve Sleep

– Improve Productivity

– Improve employee health behavior

– Stress management

– Conflict management - improve communication, mindfulness, mindset, improvisation, humor, gratitude and appreciation, emotional intelligence, empathy

– Providing a psychologically safe environment for honest communication and vulnerability without negative consequences

– Overcome anxiety

– Financial wellness

– Improve mood

– Improve interpersonal relationships

– Building a strong, caring team culture

– Aligning work with higher purpose + core values

– Social consciousness - Environmental sustainability, equality, diversity & inclusion, social justice

Inspire Yoga was born out of Neelam Harjani’s passion for practices based on individual well-being, we provide an authentic and holistic framework that is relevant to your specific needs and nurtured within the safety of your home. In this unprecedented time where we are experiencing widespread fear of our health, environment, and future, our goal is to help ease your stress levels, bring body and mind in balance, and optimize energy levels. Inspire Yoga is rooted in a personal connection to providing bespoke programs toward your journey of transformation in the peace of mind and freedom in movement. We overcome anxiety, chronic tension, and stress-related illnesses using personalized yoga sequences and meditation techniques. Are you ready to empower your own gift of self-healing, immunity, and resilience?

Thank you to Neelam Harjani for sharing this article with Kapuhala. The original can be found here. 

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