By Damien Posterino, Head of Sales, Virgin Active S.E.A.
Corporate wellness programmes have come a long way in recent years – From being a buzzword and a “fad”, these initiatives have become a hugely popular tool for organisations to attract, retain and engage the modern workforce and are increasingly viewed as being essential towards the cultivation of a healthy office environment.
Corporate wellness in its broadest sense can spark a revolution, allowing a company to stay current and competitive while inspiring employees to embrace physical and mental health as a culture. With the corporate wellness market growing steadily and expected to be worth US$7.4 billion by the end of 2024 according to recent market research, the business case for wellness programmes already seems stronger than ever.
Start Small, Stay Practical
Corporate wellness programmes do take time and money to plan and execute, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t limit it to the realm of international conglomerates and larger corporations. While Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) may not have the same deep pockets that Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) do, these companies do not have to build a programme from scratch. With so many successful wellness programmes to learn from, it’s more practical and efficient for SMEs to use what others have already created to guide their own initiatives.
Starting small is key. When putting together a corporate wellness programme for the first time, it is best for companies to define the smart goals the wellness programme is meant to achieve, identify and focus on key issues that will reap the most rewards, then build on these programmes as they see results.
Something as simple as a football game or sports event, which isn’t difficult to organise, but can work wonders in terms of building teamwork, encouraging healthy competition, and fostering stronger relationships. All of which are synonymous with corporate success.
Rope Everyone In
The more, the merrier. HR needs all the support it can gather, from both management and employees. At the top, getting buy-in from C-suite leaders is key for any wellness programme to succeed. And it takes strategic planning to align the design, dollars, and sense to get C-suite executives firmly on board to invest in employee well-being.
A successful wellness programme starts with leadership from the management. But it doesn’t have to end there. Corporate wellness doesn’t always need to stem from the management – employees can be proactive too. The bottom-up approach is a natural fit for small companies, where the camaraderie can lend itself to team building.
Ultimately, by engaging both employers and employees, greater corporate wellness success can be achieved.
Corporate wellness programmes shouldn’t be seen by companies as a form of band aid to address rising health costs, but rather as a tool to push for a positive change in the workplace – one that appeals to the fundamental desire for social connectedness, and says to employees: “We value you.”
Damien Posterino is the Head of Sales at Virgin Active for South East Asia. To him, the health of a business can be defined by three things: how united is the team, what are its corporate values and how capable is the leader at the helm. He credits Virgin Active’s success to its corporate culture of looking after and empowering its staff, who in turn are motivated to ensure the international health and fitness chain’s success.