Wellness: The state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.
In the past few years there has been a much-needed push within organizations for a more developed action plan around making sure employees mental health and wellness needs are addressed and taken care of – outside of just offering the common health benefits.
We here at Elastic Path took the call to action and established our first Employee Resource Group, that would in part focus mainly on Wellness.
We established a group of individuals from all business segments, to run our Wellness Employee Resource Group with the assistance of a few individuals from HR and our executive sponsor, Tara Collins (VP of People & Culture).
Our Purpose and Vision:
To hold a space for our employees to have safe dialogue on mental health and wellness, access a pool of resources, become a support network for one another, and be part of the greater commitment from Elastic Path around ongoing learning.
Through bi-monthly newsletters, a wellness slack channel where we share daily tips or ideas as well as workshops, we hope to help our fellow EP’ers find better ways to harness their wellbeing and create more avenues for open dialogue around what can at times be seen as uncomfortable or more vulnerable conversations.
Some of the Topics Elastic Path Focuses on:
- Learning to answer how are you, with more than "fine"
- Mental health - Stopping the stigma around mental health - lets talk about it!
- Learning to control your thoughts
- Ideas on how to take screen breaks - yes, even during the workday!
- Creating an ergonomic workspace
- Financial wellness
- Sleep wellness
- The importance of using your PTO and how to best prepare for your out of office
- Post Covid-19 social anxiety
We decided to take the step further, with implementing a Wellness Day off for the entire company to shut down and focus on themselves as well – we shared ideas for activities, and helped those around us get excited for a completely unplugged day off.
On July 23rd, we all turned off our monitors, muted Slack and collectively as a company took the day off. Yes, even our CEO, Jamus Driscoll. In many cases people took the day, to fully realize that perhaps they had been neglecting to take care of themselves and set up motion to be better mindful to take time out of each day, to focus on themselves. Many of us took to nature, to unwind our minds, or simply hung out with our families. We all returned the following Monday, well rested, recharged, and ready to hit the ground running and with a better overall sense, that yes, our company cares about us.
We hope to better iterate off already in place initiatives and continue to create exciting and fulfilling resources for our employees to maintain a healthy wellbeing.
If you focus on just merely the output and dollar association of each employee, vs. their overall health, that formula will fail.
What are the Benefits of Wellness Programs?
- Community: Showing your employees that you care about their wellbeing builds a sense of community withing your organization. Even in a virtual era, a Wellness Program is a great way to connect employees with one another. The cost associated with launching a program can also be minimal to none. With most of the work being able to be put on by internal tools, you can launch your own Wellness Program without the fear of resource limitations.
- Retention: Employees that feel valued by their company, tend to stay longer than those who do not.
- Increased Productivity: Studies show that we all perform better when we are in better health. Better alertness, energy, and stamina, which all lead to higher results in levels to productivity.
- Reducing Overall Health Issues: Creating resources around helping those we work with build healthier lifestyles can help everyone avoid elevated health risks.
- Increased Recruitment: With so many companies these days offering a slew of benefits to candidates, you want to stand out. Make sure to highlight your company’s offerings in order to attract top talent: free gym, covered insurance, ERG’s, rolling more counseling sessions into benefits, etc.
I urge all organizations, to continue to push for Wellness initiatives, continue to have open conversations and listen to those around you. When we are our best selves, is when we can all see greatness and success.
We are all more than our titles – a company is more than its profits – we are a collective whole moving together to create positive change in our fields. Your employee’s wellness is directly tied to achievement.