Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Why Employee Purpose Could Be the Heart of Corporate Wellness

ThinkstockPhotos-492012688.jpgI know... "purpose" for your employees sounds all New Age-y or like some wellness vendor ploy to not have to put up numbers for a client. But the truth is, there is quite a bit of science behind the health benefits of individuals living with a sense of purpose. In fact, scientists attribute better pain management, longevity, and slower rates of cognitive decline to a sense of purpose in adults. For an outline of some of the research-based findings of the benefits of purpose, check out this article.

If you believe the research, you're left with a question about how to put it into practice. The answer may lie in understanding what you want for your employees. Sometimes genuine care and concern for employee well-being is the starting point for building a corporate wellness program, but it's easy to lose sight of that initial impetus, and very quickly the focus becomes the search for elusive metrics (and unicorns).

So maybe it's time to put the employees front and center (again) and make them the heart of corporate wellness. Here are some simple ways you can do that with purpose at the core of what you offer in your programming:

  • Allow for volunteering: There are health benefits for individuals who volunteer on a regular basis. But with the schedules we keep (much of which is tied up in demands for our jobs), who has time to give back? Employers can make it a little easier for employees to make their world a better place by building service days into the PTO policy.
  • Recognize that your staff members are more than who you see at work: Supervisors have a heavy responsibility to build and sustain an engaged workforce. One giant leap toward fostering a positive and healthy work environment that leads to engagement is by supervisors getting to know their employees. I don't mean you have to start hosting happy hours and cookouts. What you can easily start doing, however, is using your one-on-one meetings as an opportunity to listen for what makes your staff tick, and then look for opportunities to speak to those passions.
  • Turn the traditional incentives into incentives to give: Corporate fitness programs are full of incentive programs and challenges that are designed to creatively invite employees to move more for the potential to win some kind of prize at the end of the event. Consider swapping out those traditional program prizes for an opportunity to turn minutes exercising into money for a cause.

Imagine that you're the employee who works for the company that makes good on its promise to deliver all three of the experiences listed above. How do you feel about coming to work? How do you talk about your employer to friends and family? How do you process competitive offers to change jobs when they come your way?

Considering employee purpose as a central pillar in your corporate wellness program isn't just a nice idea; it's the right thing to do for the well-being and motivation of your employees and your business.

Get our whitepaper below for 5 tips to maximize employee engagement in your program.

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Topics: corporate wellness motivation employee purpose volunteering, incentives

Corporate Wellness: Tis the season for volunteering

volunteeringThe holidays are right around the corner and what better way to spread holiday cheer than to volunteer!  Fall sports are starting to wind down with the winter rolling in, big projects at work are wrapping up, and schedules start to open up for new activities to fill in.  The holidays are the perfect time to sign the family up for a volunteer day to share some of your good wealth. 

4 Tips for Giving during the Holiday Season:

  1. Helping out in your community- The joy of winter means cold weather and most likely a good amount of snow.  Show someone you care by offering to shovel their driveway or sidewalk.  Or, invite your neighbors over for a warm meal and not only share a meal, but share conversation.
  2. Serve from home- With all of the do-it-yourself projects out there, there’s plenty of ways to get creative in your home!  Organize a volunteer group to create holiday bags for a local shelter or senior living community or even your neighborhood. 
  3. Visit a local animal shelter- Animals need attention during the holidays as well.  Colder weather makes it harder to take animals outside to play; why not visit your local animal shelter and offer to donate your time playing with animals or helping out around the office?  If you have the resources, consider fostering an animal in need.
  4. Give back to veterans and military families-  If you know a family, offer to bring over a meal or snacks over the weekend.  Offer to give the family a break and carpool to school or invite the family over for some fun at your house.

Places like the Salvation Army, local homeless shelters, and the American Red Cross are always searching for help around the holidays and year round.  Never volunteered before?  Try one of the 4 ways above and go from there!  All it takes is one small act of kindness to change someone’s day!

Other ways you can do good and initiate a great family tradition is to let the kids choose an angel from a giving tree, donate to your local coats for kids, or work in a soup kitchen.  There are many ways to do good during the season.  Share with us how your family spreads joy to others, comment below and tell us your family traditions during the season of giving.

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Topics: wellness volunteering,