For a work team, health and wellness are usually not givens. Many people do not even understand the concepts, let alone ever experience them at work. While some of us are aware that health is the absence of illness, wellness is a much vaguer concept. Some think of it as spiritual, while others see it as mental or physical. In reality, it can be a combination of all three. Being healthy in the mind, body, and soul leads to overall wellness.
In a work setting, health and wellness are often sacrificed in the attempt to achieve corporate goals. People spend countless hours at work, sometimes eating a less than substantial meal at their desks, only to go home for a brief nap before returning to the office. While this may be inevitable every once and a while, it has become a habit for far too many Americans. The result is workers who are unfocused, out of shape, and have a poor attitude. Many contract life-threatening illnesses and depart this world long before they should.
Workers are not the only ones who pay the price for an unhealthy lifestyle. Poor productivity, excessive sick days, and health issues costs employers millions of dollars each year. In the U.S., depression alone costs over $35 billion annually in reduced workplace performance. The total cost of presenteeism- employees who come to work when not fully functional due to health issues- is over $150 billion per year in the U.S., according to one study. Employees force themselves to get the work done, while many are suffering from illnesses caused by unhealthy work habits.
The media has done a great job of revealing the high cost of unhealthy teams. As a result, employers are taking action, implementing health and wellness programs designed to change corporate America for the better. These organizations recognize that employees are their most important asset and they want to care for them better than in the past.
Unless a company is very large, it probably cannot afford to have a health and wellness staff. Some organizations contract with third parties that implement health and wellness programs within the company. Through classroom learning, demonstrations, and interactive activities, employees learn to reduce stress, manage conflict, and improve personal diet and exercise habits.
Cooking, communication, collaboration, relaxation techniques, and authenticity are several topics covered in this type of program. Companies can find vendors that provide everything from workshops that run for a few hours to programs that take place over several days. These providers work with employers to tailor an approach that addresses key wellness issues plaguing staff members. Some companies can get workers back on track after a few sessions, while others require a more long-term approach to employee wellness.
Team health and wellness are critical to improving workplace productivity and keeping employees engaged. The corporate bottom line benefits from both of these and the lives of employees are often permanently changed. This win-win situation is something any business can create with a small amount of money and the proper assistance.