How can you make Wellness Initiatives work at your startup?
In many startups, employee wellness initiatives is not an everyday topic of discussion and is often neglected. As founders and employees cope with the pressures of winning investors and customers by delivering high quality products, the reality around them can be counter-demanding. Entrepreneurs and employees at every small startup face phenomenal stress dealing with several do or die decisions in addition to struggles to remain motivated and deliver critical milestones. Believe it or not, wellness initiatives even in startups, when envisioned and executed right, can be a game changer in boosting employee and company morale, focus and productivity.
The classic Wikipedia definition of 'Workplace wellness' is 'any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes'. While health and physical wellness is the focus in many organizations which usually offer incentives for physical fitness activities and lifestyle, the concept of wellness is more holistic and encompasses activities far beyond physical health initiatives.
"Wellness is the compete integration of body, mind, and spirit - the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being" - Greg Anderson
At NGCodec, we strive to tailor our wellness program around a number of well rounded structured activities. In fact, a successful wellness initiative, we believe, needs to cover all of the following four aspects:
Health is wealth. It's the lifeline of every employee and company and every wellness program is rightly structured around it. We include simple health wellness activities like speaker sessions focusing on healthy living, diet trends and workplace fitness. We could also plan to include webinars on different physical fitness and health related topics. While this is usually the prime focus in several organizations, wellness initiatives don't have to stop here.
This includes activities that motivate employees, makes people feel they are part of a family that grows with a common purpose. Common activities in this category could include going out for lunch with the team with every new hire, subsidizing employee training programs, books and memberships, celebrating milestones. It could also include employee training sessions, financial guidance etc. Also, when companies take extra efforts to communicate the company mission and how employee contributions fit in the grand scheme of things, it goes a long way in keeping employees engaged thereby significantly boosting productivity.
Effective team collaborations don't happen on their own. They need to be carefully planted, nurtured and grown. This in turn builds the company culture as it grows. Employees who have friends at work tend to collaborate better, are more passionate and hence more productive. Social activities like happy hours, company lunches, team off sites or a simple hike to a nearby park are perfect yet simple solutions where employees get to know each other better in a much informal setting. Our plan is to include some of these activities during this year.
'The more we give, the more we receive'. Activities like participating in a charity walk, identifying and supporting a charity or cause, volunteering at local community events in turn enhance the sense of belonging in people. As people become motivated and engaged in community activities together it bonds them with a higher purpose and the workplace is no longer a dull environment that simply brings with it a paycheck. At NGCodec, we strive to focus on one charity identified by consensus and structure a series of fun fundraising activities around it.
Watch this space for more on our chosen charity and activities!
Do you have a fun filled wellness promoting idea at the workplace? Feel free to share and let us know!