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As someone living in a country that is just coming out of a COVID-19 lockdown, I can safely say that many of my priorities have changed. This is more so if I consider my role as a leader of a company.
A few weeks ago, a longstanding client called me to see how I was doing and to discuss his company’s progress during social isolation. The first question out of his mouth was “Julien, is there any way we can start organising a mindfulness-based corporate wellness programme the minute lockdown ends?”
Before I could even form a response, he added, “Some of the guys aren’t doing so well and really need something to help them adjust back to normal life and manage their stress.” While this wasn’t something my team and I had to deal with, fortunately, I’ve had plenty of people talk to me about what wellness means in the context of COVID-19 and beyond it, when we go back to the new normal.
While corporate wellness comes in many forms, the principle underlying it stays the same: Employee wellbeing. I’ve no doubt in my mind that this crisis will force our understanding of this concept to evolve, requiring us to go beyond gym memberships or healthy snacks in the office.
One thing I’ve realised during this time, however, is that in any context or in any crisis, mindful stress management is a critical skill if you want your employees to be their best selves, whether they’re in the office or working from home.
Based on my reflections and interactions with my team and clients, here are a few things I believe need to be considered before you execute a corporate wellness programme, going forward.
Focus on long-term stress management - quick wins are useless in crisis situations
Don’t get me wrong - I think most corporate wellness programmes have inherent value. The only thing is that in a crisis situation, there’s not much a gym membership or on-site massage can do for you.
That’s why it’s important to focus on long-term skills like mindfulness, which can help your teams stay mentally and physically fit, regardless of their circumstances.
Make sure your programmes are useful even in remote working environments
While this may not have been something you needed to think about prior to this crisis, it’s important that whatever corporate wellness programme you decide on has value for remote work settings.
While things seem to be looking up, we need to be prepared for fresh lockdown policies in the event of another surge or future crises. This means that our wellness programmes need to be just as useful, whatever we’re facing.
Here, I think online subscriptions to grocery deliveries, virtual yoga or even wellness apps like the Awakened Mind app can prove to be useful. During this time, many clients reached out to me and mentioned that their teams have found our mindfulness app a useful way of de-stressing and taking breaks throughout the day. Naturally, this has been very gratifying to hear.
Your corporate wellness programme is something your teams find useful
When it comes to corporate wellness programmes, this is one cardinal rule we follow. In my experience, the success of these types of programmes or initiatives depends, largely, on how useful employees find these.
So, when you’re coming up with what you want to do, speak to your teams about what they need. Understand what they’re struggling with and try to see things from their point of view. In the long run, your corporate wellness programmes will be successful in setting out what they aim to do.
Execute a successful corporate wellness programme through mindfulness resources
Ultimately, your corporate wellness programme needs to improve the lives of your employees, help them manage their stress, and stay healthy. When done right, these programmes have a number of benefits for the workplace and your workforce.
With mindfulness, you achieve all this and more. The technology aside, this is what drives the value of our app at Awakened Mind. Explore our trademarked mindfulness features and find out how you can make it a part of your corporate wellness programme.