So many employees are feeling the daily crunch of juggling work, a family, home life and more, and they’ve developed damaging habits: they don’t eat because they’re too busy, or they grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut for breakfast because it’s fast. They go out for a quick but not necessarily healthy sandwich at lunch and pick up takeout on the way home because they’re pressed for time or too tired to cook. Sound familiar?
It did to the leadership at Employment Professionals Canada. So they decided to launch an employee wellness program—and they didn’t fool around. They went straight to an expert: Rebecca Parton, a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Specialist and a Certified Personal Trainer, who has 30 years’ experience in fitness and 15 years in personal training and nutrition.
Why? Because, in addition to a genuine concern for their employees’ health and well-being, the leadership at EPC knows that employee wellness is connected to higher productivity levels and lower insurance costs. When employees are healthy, they can focus better on work, and still have energy to spare.
So Rebecca helped EPC kick off their wellness services by starting an internal corporate challenge. She met with a group of employees every other week, where as a group they discussed issues that are crucial to wellness, including eating right, restful sleep, and the importance of movement.
She designed exercise programs for each participant, based on their goals and current physical condition and helped them keep track of their progress. She still drops by the office to perform spot checks on the contents of the refrigerator and to check in with the employees she worked with directly.
“I’m their face of fitness and wellness,” she explains. “I helped them make that connection between movement, food and health, and I check on them regularly to see how they’re doing and whether they need more support.”
Rebecca believes that one reason the EPC wellness program has been so successful is that everyone was accountable to the group. Another reason? “I helped them make the connections themselves, and when you do that people tend to adhere to a plan.”
Marina Butler, president of EPC, agrees. “Rebecca is highly motivating, and she keeps you on track. Also, you can’t get anything past her, which makes it difficult to cheat!”
In all seriousness. Ms. Butler adds, “We really wanted to help promote healthy lifestyles in the office, and we’ve gotten very positive feedback from our employees.”
Look around. Are your employees struggling with the challenges of that elusive work/life balance? How many of them would raise their hands if you asked which of them felt they were at the peak of health? Maybe it’s time to consider your own employee wellness program.