One of the positive outcomes of all the collective challenges we have faced over the past couple of years has been an increased focus on employee mental health and wellness in the workplace. The pandemic and issues of diversity, equity and inclusion have increased awareness around workplace factors that negatively contribute to employee mental health and wellness. In Mind Share Partners’ 2021 Mental Health at Work Report, an overwhelming 84% of US employees surveyed reported at least one workplace factor that negatively impacted their mental health with the most common factors being emotionally draining work and a lack of work-life balance. Similar evidence of widespread employee burnout is being seen in Canada, where the data also points to a mishandling of employee well-being as explained in Workplaces Can No Longer Afford to Ignore Employee Well-Being by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Put simply, as the Mind Share report states, “the way we’re working isn’t sustainable and it’s hurting our mental health.” While some companies have responded with reduced work weeks, more time off, counselling services, wellness apps and the like, only a few have committed to the kind of real cultural change that shifts the workplace from being a contributor to poor mental health to a place that understands its fundamental responsibility towards its employees as people and their overall wellbeing – and that living up to this responsibility will also lead to long-term gains for the business. It’s important to note that this focus on overall wellbeing is consistent with the long-established Yoga system, which teaches us how to respond (versus react) to life’s circumstances in a balanced and thoughtful way. It is our belief that there is a tremendous opportunity to apply the philosophies, tools and practices that the Yoga system developed to our modern world in order to support more healthy and humane ways to live and work.
At Nourished Union, our corporate wellness coaches and consultants are motivated to work with companies that get this. Companies that are ready to make the commitment and investments required to shift their workplace cultures to acknowledge their employees as whole beings who have a fundamental right to live and work in a way that supports their physical, mental, emotional and energetic health and well-being. And as the evidence in the above publications makes clear, in many ways this is no longer a choice for employers, with large numbers of employees leaving their jobs for mental health reasons and even larger numbers fully expecting that a company’s culture supports employee mental health and wellness.
Our Corporate and Employee Wellness Services.
Nourished Union has partnered with 1-Degree/Shift, experts at supporting culture change, to guide companies who are ready to make the transformational shift to elevating employee mental health and wellness to an organizational priority. This kind of cultural change demands both a top-down and bottom-up approach, so that employee mental health and well-being becomes an organizational priority with ownership and accountability mechanisms. The effort will require support from leadership to reduce stigma, organization-wide training to normalize mental health and wellness issues, introduction of more healthy and sustainable ways of working, fostering of connection and healthy working relationships, investing in diversity, equity and inclusion and offering benefits, programs and services to support it all. 1-Degree/Shift takes a strategic and insight driven approach to each client’s situation and may use one or a combination of their services to drive the desired cultural change in your organization.
The Well @ Work
The Well @ Work is a unique and customizable corporate and employee wellness coaching program that empowers employees to proactively prioritize their overall health and wellbeing on a daily basis by integrating holistic health practices into their day-to-day work and life experiences. This corporate wellness service is delivered online through a secure platform by a certified holistic health practitioner and consists of daily or weekly live sessions, with ongoing on-demand recordings, of wellness practices including yoga movement, breath-work, mindfulness meditation, and rest and restore practices. The program also facilitates group discussions about holistic health and wellness, and can contribute to shifting the organization’s daily practices and working norms to better support employee wellbeing. Each employee will receive a unique login to the platform, which they can use to securely access the program and manage their personal account. The program can be customized to address the specific needs and priorities of an organization and its employees. Note: The program includes mechanisms for escalating more serious mental health issues to the appropriate resources.
Personal Holistic Health Coaching
For 8 to 12 high potentials in the organization we offer in-depth personal holistic health coaching to drive real transformation through a committed daily practice and supportive coaching that leverages the framework of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The program delivers a fully personalized and guided holistic health and wellness plan that will drive powerful and sustainable life changes by increasing awareness of the emotions halting personal growth, releasing anxiety and helping participants to feel more peaceful, rediscover their true nature and expand their life. The experience of the program will positively effect participants’ abilities to sincerely champion a workplace culture that acknowledges employees as whole beings who have a fundamental right to live and work in a way that supports their physical, mental, emotional and energetic health and well-being. A peer element to the program supports sharing and communication to activate tangible, top-down actions to reinforce culture change. For this reason we recommend introducing this corporate wellness program to senior leaders first before rolling it out to other groups in the organization.
How Employers Benefit from Supporting Employee Mental Health and Wellness.
When organizations understand their responsibility to not only minimize the negative impact of work and work culture on employee mental health but also their fundamental responsibility to foster culture and norms that promote employee wellbeing, they benefit from more engaged and higher performing employees. Employees who report less mental health issues, miss less work, have higher intentions to stay at the company, trust the company more and are proud to work there. The clear lesson here is that positive workplaces that invest in wellbeing lead to more fulfilled and balanced employees who feel connected to their work because it is meaningful and not just because of a paycheque, and this then drives important benefits for employees, employers and the bottom line.
Even before the pandemic, the research was clear that high-pressure workplaces were costly due to healthcare expenditures, disengagement and turnover, and that employee wellbeing depends largely on a positive workplace culture as explained in Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive by Harvard Business Review. The huge societal shifts that we are currently living through have made it clear that organizational culture change to support employee mental health and wellbeing is no longer an option but a requirement. Let’s take this opportunity to partner on your corporate wellness coaching needs and consciously start crafting more healthy and humane ways to work, measuring the impact of our efforts and instituting healthy working norms as the new normal.
The various shifts currently underway are going to demand that employers remain flexible and continue to explore and adopt new, inclusive and compassionate ways of working. We are here to help. In addition to the corporate and employee wellness programs and services explained above (Culture Change, The Well @ Work and Private Holistic Health Coaching) we offer custom corporate and workplace wellness workshops, consulting and speaker series, and with our first-hand corporate knowledge and experience you can trust that we will design and deliver programs that make sense in a workplace context. Get started on your culture change and new corporate and employee health and wellness programs by setting up a Discovery Call with us today.