The aftermath several years being spent on the discussion of healthcare requirements of employees leaves us with the question of, "what is the best way to make the most of the money spent on coverage plans?" Many companies have adopted wellness programs that have creative methods for illness, injury treatment, and prevention. “A study released in April by ADP, Inc., a provider of human resource management, payroll, and benefit administration services, reported that 79 percent of large and 44 percent of midsized companies offer wellness programs.” These programs offer things that are unique to the atmosphere of the company itself. Evaluations obtain proof of the employees interest in the program as well as what would help them most. The interests can be non-smoking incentives, weight-loss support, stress management, nutritional informational sessions, and yoga or meditation classes. Besides the political influence on the company’s regulations of healthcare, why else do we look to other proactive approaches to caring for America’s employees? “The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that U.S. employers lose $70 billion a year due to absenteeism, lost productivity and disability caused by mental distress”. These are significant numbers when looking at profits of sales and its relation to expenditures. Are these wellness programs really the answer?
Many corporations have turned to yoga as a solution to stress related issues. Some are physical consequences such as elevated blood pressure, immune dysfunction, digestion
complications, headaches, low energy and the list goes on. Then we have the emotional consequence of living and working in stressful environments. Aggression and frustration, tense and unfocused emotional reactions, imbalance of feelings or loss of control, lack of self esteem and self worth and you fail to see the importance you have in the roles you play regularly. It is common for us to experience one or more of these symptoms of stress from time to time but living in a constant state of one or more of these can affect your performance at work. “In a 3-month period, patients with depression miss an average of 4.8 workdays and suffer 11.5 days of reduced productivity” (cdc.gov). Also, Managers and employees who are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression such as tardiness, complaints of fatigue, reduction in work output or quality, safety problems or accidents, and changes in attitude may help in the early identification and referral to screening and treatment services for affected employees” Yoga brings the fluctuations of the mind and of the body to a calm state by introducing breath control, pose alignment, time for meditative reflection of actions and behaviors. This is where we bring all the roles we step into on a regular basis together in one place and decrease the symptoms of chronic stress.
As a retail manager myself, I tried hosting meetings where everyone could get together face to face and discuss monthly events. The meetings worked at first but then I noticed the excitement dying out. Connection to one another was important but expecting them to add one more appointment to an already busy day was a difficult task. One way we can keep the excitement going in team building department is creating a wellness program of your own.
Make special not of productivity trends at work. This could be sale numbers, attendance percentages, patterns of disruptive behavior reports or all of these. File them away to be review the same time next month.
Ask the employees if they would be interested in attending a yoga class with their coworkers.
Some studios have discounted group rates. Companies can cover these costs by including it in the monthly budget or paying the discounted rate for the employees and deducting their portion from their paychecks.
Report comparison of sales, attendance and behavior.
This last step is critical to the progression and the expansion of wellness programs in the businesses we rely on as either employees or consumers of their products. When we can bring in firm, positive and self sustaining roots in the way we conduct in our personal and professional relationships, we can improve the systems in which we are included.
Lohia, A. (2014, January 29). Revive Your Wellness Program. Corporate Wellness Magazine.
Cook, J. (2012, July 1). ASAE ® The Center for Association Leadership. Retrieved July 8, 2015, from http://www.asaecenter.org/Resources/ANowDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=182047
2013, October 23). Retrieved July 8, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/implementation/topics/depression.html