By DOROTHY HARDEE, East Orlando Chamber Director of Operations
June brings delicious fruits, vegetables, bouquets and the urge to get outside to enjoy the sunshine. It is also, Professional Wellness Month throwing a light on the importance of creating an accomplished environment for employees. What makes this year so different from all the rest is that after a year of shutdowns and being shut in, 15 percent of Americans are afraid to leave their homes.
Many employees are emotionally on edge and physically worn out, making this the best time to focus on celebrating wellness in the workplace. Adults spend a significant amount of time working in their offices or, now, remotely making a healthy balance so important for overall well-being.
Corporate Wellness Magazine explained that chronic disease is one of the biggest challenges facing employee health and productivity at work. “More than 150 million American adults in the workforce have at least one chronic disease: including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and mental health disorders.” Chronic disease, financial stress and psychosocial stressors at work limit performance, promotes absence, ability to carry out tasks and ultimately cost employers significantly. In fact, chronic physical and mental issues have accounted for more than $136 billion (about $420 per person in the US) in health-related loss.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explains that, Health-Related Quality of Life is associated with many health, job, family, and economically related benefits. The greater well-being equals decreased risk of disease, illness and injury. It also means that employees who experience higher levels of well-being, made up of a good exercise routine, healthy diet, sleep patterns, etc. are also more productive, community conscious and an asset to an organization. Organizations need to step up their game creating an environment where employees can thrive and be happy and healthy.
An effective wellness program educates employees and creates a culture of health, while aiming to help workers develop health behaviors. The benefits of the program include:
- Improved productivity
- Saves cost.
- Promotes teamwork and collaboration.
Working Mother highlighted 10 companies providing outstanding office health and wellness benefits to enhance employee health while on the job with impressive “wellness zones” in their offices. From Unilever’s Quiet Room for meditation, Nike’s fitness center including the “Bo Jackson Center” featuring indoor basketball court and turf field, to Microsoft's paid gym memberships, workout facilities on campus, multiple restaurants, free health screenings, diet counseling and wellness coaching, may have you dusting off your résumé. Who else made the top ten? Google, General Mills, Zappos, Rodale, Inc., Genentech, SAS and Twitter.
Workplace wellness is not a new concept but has become a popular benefit for companies to offer supplying a positive impact for your organization. A wellness program is more than counting steps on a fitness band or offering free fruit. A well-thought-out program is a set of activities and initiatives promoting employee wellbeing and encourages staff to prioritize their health and fitness. Before dismissing the thought of incorporating a program for your organization, consider the benefits:
Improved employee satisfaction & ability to attract talented employees.
Starting a wellness program that delivers measurable results and tangible benefits can be as simple as these five-steps shared by the blueprint (A Motley Fool Service):
- Get support from management who will not only be on board but serve as a champion.
- Survey employees to make sure the program initiatives match what your employees are looking for and they are on board with the program.
- Make it a game with leaderboards and prizes so employees can compete and get extra motivation for taking part.
- Set goals, tracking and planning everything to ensure the initiatives succeed and contribute to business growth.
- Tap into your HR Software, many of which include wellness functionality. Wellness modules “allow you to track the wellness of employees over time, asking them to input information such as sleep patterns and how much they are using technology such as their phones.”
Encourage employees to take part, stressing the importance of the benefit, but do not make it mandatory. Finally, remember to communicate the benefit clearly and ask if there are any changes that can be made to accommodate them.
Ready to celebrate “National Employee Wellness month”? Here are a few ideas addressing one of the six key dimensions of well-being: emotion, financial, occupational, social, physical and purpose.
- Emotional Well-being: Teach Mindfulness
- Financial Well-being: Supply Resources
- Occupational Well-being: Focus on the Future
- Social Well-being: Host Virtual Events
- Physical Well-being: Introduce a Wellness Challenge
- Purpose: Encourage Mission Statements
Looking for more ways to celebrate the month? Consider walking meetings, naps and sleep time, fitness breaks, healthy menu options, goal setting, signposts and supply health information regulatory.
For the health of your business reach out to the East Orlando Chamber for a menu of unique offerings elevating your businesses visibility and connect you with others helping your business thrive. We are the first in the state offering traditional Health Insurance plans, as well as supplemental products including dental, vision, critical illness, accidental and more.
Hear from our local lobbyists Tuesday, June 8th as we present, “Florida Politics 2021” at the Celeste Hotel Orlando, sponsored by University of Central Florida. Fred Kittinger, Sr. Associate VP University Relations (UCF (University of Central Florida) will moderate our distinguished panel including Chris Carmody, Gray Robinson, PA; David Mic, Jr., Florida Hospital Association; Janet Owen, University of Central Florida; & Sharon Smoley, Orlando Economic Partnership. Breakfast opens at 7:30 AM with the program following at 8:00. Register at eocc.org.
Do you know what happens when most of the work you are doing can be done instantly, accurately and cheaply with Artificial Intelligence? What are the ethical and legal concerns? Find out this and more when OPTIC (Orlando’s Professional Technology & Innovation Collaborative) presents, “AI & The Social Dilemma” June 11, 2021, at 9:00 AM, presented by EOCC and hosted by Full Sail University. This virtual presentation is moderated by Ean Meyer, Full Sail University. Our panel of experts include Werner Barkhuizen, PhD (RWENRB Holdings); Ian Johnson (Losey PLLC); Haifa Maamar, PhD (Full Sail University) and Kunal Patel (BrandXR). Free for EOCC members and $10 for non-members.
Our Healthcare collaborative afterhours will feature Dr. Angela D. Mazza, DO, double board-certified in endocrinology and internal medicine with Metabolic Center for Wellness discussing Radiofrequency Ablation of Thyroid Nodules. Radiofrequency Ablation is a safe scarless alternative to in-patient surgery. The Healthcare Collaborative Afterhours is Thursday, June 24 at 6:00 PM at The 5th Floor in Avalon Park. Your $10 registration fee includes drinks, appetizers and valuable information.
For more information or to register call (407) 277-5951 or visit our website at eocc.org. The East Orlando Chamber of Commerce everywhere East of I-4.
June 8, 2021, | 7:30 AM
The Celeste Hotel Orlando
$35 EOCC Members | $45 Non-members
June 11, 2021, | 9:00 AM
VIRTUALLY hosted by Full Sail University
FREE EOCC Members | $10 Non-members
June 15, 2021, | 5:30 PM
Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center
$15 Per Person includes one game, drink ticket, appetizers & networking.
June 17, 2021, | 8:30 AM
Sam’s Club Lake Nona
"Trash Talk” Exploring Recycling & Sustainability programs
Free EOCC members | $10 non-members
June 24, 2021, | 6:00 PM
The 5th Floor at Avalon Park
Featuring Dr. Angela Mazza, DO (Metabolic Center for Wellness)
$10 Per Person
August 4, 2021, | 11:30 AM
The Celeste Hotel
Featuring “Women in Transportation” including
Diane Sears (I4 Biz); Laura Kelley (CFX); Christine Kefauver (Brightline); Robyn Willson Hattaway (Canaveral Port Authority); Kathleen Sharman (GOAA)
$40 EOCC Members | $50 Non-members
October 22, 2021, | 7:30 AM
Rio Pinar Country Club
$125 Individual | $400 Foursome | $500 Foursome & Hole Sign
Check out sponsorship and added opportunities available at eocc.org