Corporate wellness, when implemented successfully, is one of the most powerful preventative strategies that we have available to ensure employees achieve optimal health. The fact is, when we clock into our workdays, we can’t clock out of our physical, mental and emotional states. To achieve optimal health and wellness there needs to be a focus on the whole person. How we care for ourselves outside of the workplace is equally important to how we care for ourselves while we’re at the office.
Workplaces are not just places for people to be productive, they are also places where people can and should be encouraged to thrive. Every employee brings with them his/her unique skillsets, along with a multifaceted set of beliefs and responsibilities.
According to the World Health Organization, “wellness is the optimal state of health of individuals and groups. There are two focal concerns: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually and economically, and the fulfillment of one’s role expectations in the family, community, place of worship and other settings.”
Corporate wellness relies on a holistic approach to address the needs of the whole person. Successful programs are ones that take into consideration seven dimensions that make up optimal health and wellness. These are the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and occupational aspects of each employee.
If we were to consider the dimensions of a healthy corporation, we might include profit margins, client-base, operations efficiency, and the rate of repeat business as some of the core elements. Undoubtedly, all corporations look to succeed in these areas. The brilliance in corporate wellness programs for people, is that when done well, they are in effect corporate wellness programs for corporations too.
Corporate Wellness Case Study: Omnicom Media Group
Omnicom in the UAE has been considered one of the top places to work for several consecutive years and has achieved some of the highest trust scores from their direct reports. Employees are people and people are assets. And as assets they are deemed highly valuable and are an integral part of the company’s overall success.
Employees are encouraged to share their knowledge and to embrace failure as a natural part of the path to success. They are heard and given a platform through which to share their questions, concerns and ideas. Omni’s maternity leave was extended to 90 days as a result of communication on the OMGene app built specifically for its employees. At the heart of Omni’s successful corporate wellness program is its dedication to relationship building. Total wellness cannot be achieved without taking into consideration the external factors that affect health. In short, healthy relationships can also lead to healthy minds and healthy bodies.
Corporate Wellness Case Study: Dubai Holding, DHL Express
One of the first corporations in the UAE to successfully implement a corporate wellness program was Dubai Holding, DHL Express. With over 1,000 employees, for the program to be deemed successful the offerings had to meet the needs of a diverse workforce. DHL recognized early on that not everyone would be motivated by the same interests or activities. So, it created a plan that relied on a multidimensional wellness approach.
For three consecutive years, the employee rate of sickness was at near 0.01%, injuries decreased by 46% and overtime decreased to nearly zero. Employees were given an opportunity to participate in athletic events, recreational mind/body classes, including yoga and dance. They were given access to questionnaires and quizzes that would help them make valuable and customized assessments and were rewarded for participating and making progress.
A well-designed wellness program can lead to significant benefits for both a corporation and its employees. Increased productivity is certain, but an unexpected by-product of a corporate wellness program is the fostering of a stronger allegiance. Companies that care for their employees are rewarded with increased productivity and loyalty, while employees who achieve work/life balance experience greater workplace satisfaction.