In a 24-hour day, we probably spend an average of 4 hours on “us”. The rest of the day consists on getting to work, being at work, and getting home from work. Because of that harsh reality, it’s important that your workplace feeds your wellbeing. After all, you spend more time there than you do elsewhere.
As a small engineering firm, our days are long and detail oriented. Our hours are billable and it’s easy for an employee to feel like their worth only equates to the number of hours they billed that day. Everyone tends to eat lunch at their desk to get more work done and it’s hard to pull employees away for a meeting (let alone to have fun).
Henry Albrecht, the CEO of Limeade wrote an awesome article called “Watch What Happens When You Invest in Employee Wellness.” Henry says “HR wants to know what these programs can do for employees and how they can inspire and align the workplace. They want to know wellness isn’t just another benefit employees will never use.”
He points out the three true impacts of workplace wellness:
1. Brings teams together. “Fun social wellness challenges -- including everything from getting steps together to volunteering to holding innovation sessions -- can bring teams closer together, rally everyone around a common goal and improve workplace relationships.”
2. Fosters trust between employees and leaders. “In a survey of more than 800 full-time, U.S. employees conducted by Globoforce in November 2015, 47 percent said they don’t think their company leaders care about and actively try to create a human workplace. Workplace wellness programs help employees feel like their leaders and employer genuinely care about them. Investing in their health and well-being makes people feel valued and that goes a long way.”
3. Boosts morale and motivation. “Well-designed workplace wellness programs should reinforce the company mission and values at every turn, orienting newbies and reconnecting veterans in need of a boost. Promoting community charity walks, races and other events reminds employees that work is a community, not just a paycheck. Allowing employees time for volunteer activities of their choice fosters autonomy, renews a sense of purpose and provides a jolt of motivation.”
We (the marketing and HR teams) have a program at our firm called CAT (Calibre Appreciation and Teambuilding). We use this program to bring the 3 previously listed points into fruition. Each month we plan an event (that is completely paid for by the company) that allows our employees to have fun and hang out outside of the office setting. Sports events, happy hours, staff lunches, and office volunteer work are just a few of the events we plan. A huge part of our company culture is family, so often we encourage our employees to bring their families to these outings.
2016 was the first year that CAT became a monthly program. In previous years, the program was much more sporadic and we did maybe 5 events a year. Per a survey, I sent out to the staff at the end of 2016, 100% of our staff felt that the program was beneficial in team bonding and boosting morale! I’ve watched the office environment change and grow into a more cohesive and enjoyable place to be. As Henry said, “Programs that serve as a hub for everything Chief Human Resource Officers dream about -- volunteering, referrals, team building, culture and energy -- is the key to an inspired and aligned workforce.”
Article Link: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/276190