How Wellness Programs Can Help Companies Thrive

By: Eduardo Amorim | Mentor & Coach

Life, Health and Wellness

I am sure you agree with me that it’s almost impossible, nowadays, to separate our personal and professional lives. The question I ask you is, should we? How we think, act, behave, feel and see life has everything to do with what we are like and perform at work. And, how we live our work life has a direct impact in our life overall, especially on our physical, mental and emotional health. Through this article I want to show you how good knowledge, especially self-knowledge, can change people, workplaces and corporations.

Companies have been battling to achieve their goals as well as to keep a team that is high quality, excited, focused, productive and, last but not least, they are struggling to keep workers that don’t simply change company for a slightly higher wage or a couple of extra benefits. After all, what is this revolution that has been going on among the professionals?

Let me tell you what. They got tired of a life without meaning. As we said, it’s almost impossible to separate personal and professional life. Work impacts at home and vice versa. The great professional (the one the company wants to keep) is willing to commit and fight for the company, unless it costs their personal life, well-being and their money, which in many cases is used to restore the health they are no longer willing to lose.

The Shift

An increasing number of companies around the world are rethinking their reward and development programs used for the employees, seeking actions that can provide more wellbeing. A 2018 survey done by Deloitte human Capital Trends with eleven thousand RH leaders and business executives showed that 92% of them pointed out corporative wellness a crucial strategy for their professional activities in the future. Behind all that are physical and emotional burnout cases, people seeking a higher quality of life and office flexibility (especially by the “millennials”).

By implementing these programs, companies can tackle big challenges that haunt every single one of them. Among those challenges are high costs with health insurance, high staff turnover, absenteeism, loss of great professionals due to burnout, hiring and firing cost, financial losses due to mistakes, lack of attention and focus, high levels of stress and internal conflicts, low levels of energy and motivation, low productivity and the list goes on.

Although wellness programs can indeed improve people’s lives at work as well as generating benefits for the companies, there is a lot of controversial data out there. Not to mention that most programs focus on things like eating healthy, promoting exercises, managing stress, etc. Of course those things are of very much importance, though, they forget one very special thing which is the key to almost all they want to change: self-knowledge.

Why knowing and Understanding Yourself Matters the Most

Telling someone to reduce the stress because it’s bad for health is one thing. Explaining to them what stress is, how and why it is triggered, how its physiology works in the body, the real impact it has in the body and mind is a completely different thing.

When you know what you are dealing with, it becomes easier to handle and manage it. It’s like a system in a computer. The better you understand how to use it, the more it makes sense to do so, and the better the outcome. It all starts by changing the mindset – how the mind is programmed.

Every change starts from the inside. This is the main goal of the self-knowledge in wellness programs. To generate transformation within, so that it can be manifested at work and personal life, reaching balance and creating wellbeing.

When we better understand who we are, how the mind and body work and why we think, act and behave the way we do, we open ourselves up to a new world. It’s almost impossible to be better workers if we don’t know how to be better people first.

Innovating the Workplace for Success

Although the companies’ interests are the priority when thinking about introducing wellness programs, it’s just as important to have empathy and think of the workers as people above everything else. When the company shows the staff they care about them and want them to be better people (before expecting them to simply be better workers), that’s when part of the magic happens. Who doesn’t like to be cared for, right?

The process of making one learn and understand about oneself leads to the expansion of consciousness. That makes room for new stuff to come in. we all have plenty of answered questions when it comes to our personality, beliefs, fears, strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes all we need to do is to tap into those areas we are afraid of going into that are begging for attention.

Based on the above, I would like to share with you a few tips to help make wellness programs more effective. I won’t go into details about them, otherwise this article will become too long.

I would like to start with what makes us humans and different from all other species: our brains and the mind. The brain is like the computer itself, the hardware. The mind is the operating system. If a person doesn’t know how these two work, they won’t ever be able to make lasting change. You can’t change something if you have no idea how it works in the first place.

Secondly, the knowledge about the body. The body is the vehicle that carries us throughout life. If your car breaks down or doesn’t work anymore, you simply sell it and buy a new one. I think you already know you can’t do that with your body. You two are married for life on this planet. If your vehicle breaks down, you’ll be on dire straits. If you don’t take care of your body you are much more prone to lack focus and concentration, mental and physical energy and eventually get sick.

The third tip is the connection between the mind and the body. everything is connected. We can’t separate the mind from the body, neither can we separate the individual from the environment they live in. What happens in the body has a direct impact on the mind. What happens in the mind impacts the body. That’s why stress gets you knackered. A fearful thought makes your body chill or get butterflies in the gut. What you eat impacts your mood. Your gut has 100 million neurons, as well as trillions of bacteria that produce serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, and other hormones and neurotransmitters, which are crucial to regulate our mood, sleep and so many other activities.

Other tips to enhance wellness programs would be:

  • Developing self-responsibility;

  • Explaining emotions and teach how to recognize, interpret and deal with them;

  • Working on NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) to explain about mental programming, beliefs, how to reprogram the mind to introduce new habits;

  • Introducing cutting-edge subjects such as epigenetics and neuroplasticity.

Information like this is rarely shared. Unfortunately, we don’t see these things being taught at school. Though, when the employees do learn these things, it becomes much easier for them to understand why they are the way they are and, most importantly, what needs to be done based on their lifestyle choices.

Now, after they started to change within themselves, the wellness programs are much more likely to work. We must be reasonable and take into account that changing lifetime patterns aren’t very easy, and people must be willing to go down that road. Some people are scared as hell to make change, even when they know that only good things will come out of that.

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