Wellness in the corporate context is a relatively new buzzword, made popular with the advent of COVID-19 and its widespread impact. Winston Churchill famously said never let a crisis go to waste- The sensitization towards wellness is a positive outcome of COVID-19 which should become a norm in the corporate world.
At its essence, wellness encapsulates the synergy between our physical and mental states. Both are pivotal facets, inherently intertwined, and indispensable components essential for our overall well-being. In recent times, discussions around wellness have gained momentum, yet its profound significance has always been ingrained in our human essence. It's a fundamental craving within us - to feel whole and well.
When we achieve a state of physical health coupled with mental well-being, we ignite a profound sense of vitality and contentment. In its purest form, human nature thrives in happiness; it's our default setting. However, the complexities of life often lead us astray, shrouding our natural state with worry, fear, and negative thoughts, effectively eroding our innate happiness.
Embracing wellness isn't a departure from our nature; instead, it's a return to our authentic selves. It's the conscious act of reconnecting with our intrinsic state of balance, reclaiming the harmony between our physical vitality and mental peace.
The most powerful enabler of wellness is the culture of the organisation. Strong organisational cultures are good for wellness. The environment in which we work, and the way we interact with one another, matters. A good working environment helps ensure that we can build the bonds of trust required for effective cooperation.
Fostering physical wellness begins with raising awareness about the significance of a healthy lifestyle. It's recommended that every adult allocate 30-40 minutes, 4-5 days a week, to engage in physical exercise. Embracing wearable fitness trackers can be instrumental in monitoring and assessing various health parameters, offering individuals tangible insights into their well-being.
Within organisational settings, promoting office fitness challenges presents a dynamic opportunity to actively involve employees in maintaining their health. In India, the rise in cardiovascular ailments necessitates proactive measures. Offering corporate packages for annual health check-ups empowers employees to prioritise preventive care, enabling early detection of potential health concerns for timely intervention
Moreover, initiatives such as conducting yoga sessions or diverse fitness programs orchestrated by employers, establishing on-site gyms, or extending subsidised gym memberships serve as commendable avenues to instil and encourage enduring healthy habits among employees.
Mental wellness is slightly more challenging as there is no clear measure of mental wellness. The state of acceptance and acknowledgement of the need for mental wellness is also more recent. A key enabler of mental wellness is the culture of the organisation as enumerated above. Organisations can equip employees with tools to manage their wellness.
Meditation stands as a potent and accessible practice, essential in daily routines for all. Organisations can facilitate exposure to meditation, offering employees opportunities to integrate this practice into their lives.
Further, establishing partnerships with counselling services, staffed by skilled clinical psychologists, enables tailored support based on individual needs. Accessing timely guidance from these experts can catalyse transformative change in an employee's life. Fostering a culture that values workplace friendships and cultivates celebratory moments not only nurtures a sense of belonging but also contributes significantly to overall well-being.
Wellness isn't just a choice; it's a strategic imperative for organisations. Happy employees lay the foundation for sustained productivity and the enduring success of any enterprise. A responsible organisation prioritises decisions that inherently consider employee well-being. While short-term gains may emerge, sustained, long-term success eludes organisations that overlook the pivotal role of wellness in their operations.