It seems every time we turn around there is a buzz about “corporate wellness.” I have heard it so many times that I wonder if people are becoming skeptical and leery of it being a marketing ploy. However, I know the importance of health in business as I practice a healthy lifestyle and know the positive impact on my bottom line.
I found that there are five key ways to improve the bottom line of a business with a corporate wellness program. First it begins with a wellness culture that starts at the top. As a corporate leader, you need to practice what you preach and live the lifestyle that you promote within your business.
I was talking with Dr. Roger Sahoury, author of Gladiator’s Guide to Corporate Health & Wealth, and he said, “It’s amazing to learn that 55% of workers identified a workplace wellness program as an instrument in improving their overall well-being. In fact it equates to $250 million in savings in lowered health costs and a 50% reduction in high blood pressure among employees.”
I found those numbers astonishing, but amazing at the same time because it proves that a corporate wellness program and culture can have not only a positive impact on the employee’s health but also on the bottom line of the company through tremendous cost savings.
As I spoke with Dr. Sahoury he shared a phrase that I thought was important for businesses to remember. “When a team understands how much a company cares about each individual person, the people will work harder, be more dedicated and can more easily operate as one unit. If the overall wellness of an organization is evaluated and treated holistically, a company can minimize mechanical and structural problems while maximizing culture and profitability.”
Secondly, focus on a combined individualized, customized program that is augmented by a team program. This provides a network of support for the individuals and also can add a competitive component that drives people to do more, be more and experience more.
In business that skill is critical as it can become part of a training to “think outside the box.” I view health and wellness as the new frontier and fuel for the successful businesses of tomorrow. It takes a healthy lifestyle and mindset to succeed in business.
Third, ensure there is an environment of health. It sounds easy, but if you have a vending machine in your break room, fill it with healthy snacks. When you order in a corporate lunch for an educational program, order healthy options and not pizza. Health must be embraced throughout every aspect of your business, no matter how small or large.
The fourth key is exercise and movement moments. Incorporate a variety of exercise and movement moments throughout the day for your team. This could be a power production walk that is your meeting time to discuss projects. Or it could be a scheduled motivational moment where everyone gets up and jumps rope for 10 minutes. Incorporate anything that gets your team moving; including yourself.
Lastly, what do you stand for? Know what you are willing to sacrifice and not when it comes to health and your business. I know that when I’m completely on my game, my performance, overall output and general sense of wellbeing are impacted. When I meet with inventors and entrepreneurs, I can tell almost immediately if they are of sound mind and body.
Not that I judge a great idea based upon that, but it makes a difference when you invest in an individual because they have to be committed to the health of their business and their body. I understand that many are under a lot of pressure and stress, but when you are healthy (both mentally and physically) you can certainly weather any storm more easily.
A version of this article first appeared in Forbes.com