Nautilus CEO Jim Barr is a transformational leader with multiple successes in the rapid growth of large-scale businesses and teams.
We’re well into cold and flu season, and that means we’re all doing our best to stay healthy so we can avoid doctors’ visits and sick days. But what if we could create a culture of health year-round, not just at home but in our organizations, as well? One that nurtures sharp minds and incubates ideas, instead of germs?
In my career, I’ve helped numerous companies drive turnarounds and digital transformations that require high energy and strong engagement for extended periods of time. I’ve seen firsthand that a workforce that is mentally and physically healthy can achieve superior results not just during a transformation, but in everyday business.
To enjoy the very best results from your team, it’s up to you to build a culture of health at your organization that promotes both physical and mental wellness. These steps can help your organization reap the benefits of a healthier workforce all year long.
Skin In The Game
Everyone wants to be healthier, but actually investing the time and effort to achieve better health can be tough. As a CEO, the first step to creating a healthier workplace culture is to communicate to your team why holistic health should be prioritized, and then state your commitment to helping them meet and reach their goals. Then back your statements up with action.
What can you provide for your employees to help them become healthier? Is it a flexible schedule so they can fit in a workout? In-house meditation classes held over the lunch break? Gym or fitness app memberships compliments of your organization? If you really want to get people invested in wellness, put some company skin in the game to help them get there, and then encourage them to use these perks and amenities.
Exercise And Stress Management
Modern life is stressful. While there are many outlets to reduce stress, one of the most undeniable is exercise, which pumps our bodies full of endorphins, improves mood and helps us function at peak performance physically and mentally. At Nautilus, our vision is to build a healthier world one person at a time because we know how powerful exercise can be when used as a tool to help people live better lives.
Encourage your staff to set and stick to exercise goals with company-provided gym memberships or fitness app subscriptions, in-office gym space and incentives for keeping up their exercise routines. Don’t forget to encourage managers to support their teams’ efforts. Managers can make all the difference in the success of health initiatives by leaving the lunch hour free or even taking meetings on a walk outside.
Purpose And Growth
Job-related burnout kills productivity, and it can lead to fatigue, vulnerability to illness, irritability and more. The cure to burnout isn’t just working less. It’s working with a purpose.
“Purpose is burnout’s kryptonite,” as author Carey Lohrenz once wrote. When staff members feel that they are working toward a goal such as creating a better world or making a measurable impact in people’s lives, they’re better able to stop burnout at the source and live happier, healthier lives.
Make sure you are consistently communicating with your team about the importance of their work and how they contribute to the company’s vision. Give them opportunities to grow their skills and the potential to take on new, more exciting roles in the company. The old adage “use it or lose it” is as true for the mind as it is for muscles, as physical and mental challenges alike help forge new neural pathways. Strengthen that growth by injecting purpose, acknowledgment and growth into every day.
Addressing Mental Health
Mental health is finally getting the attention it deserves. When trying to create a healthy workforce, don’t stop at physical wellness. Give your employees the tools, resources and encouragement to pursue better mental health, too.
Is mental health covered by your company’s health insurance? Great! Make sure your employees are aware of these resources and actively seek them out. If not, consider investing in a platform that offers mental health support to ensure your people can access the care they need while eliminating cost deterrents.
In addition to making sure mental health services are covered, think about other ways you can contribute to your employees’ mental well-being. Lightening the mental load for employees can be as simple as offering flexible schedules, discouraging overtime and reducing stress by improving processes within your organization.
A Great CEO Leads By Example
Encouraging your workforce to become healthier means little if you’re not willing to set the example yourself. I prioritize my physical and mental well-being by sticking to a regular workout regimen, making time to relax and eating a balanced diet. I’ll let you in on a secret: I keep a set of our dumbbells in both my home office and at work, and I’ll sneak in sets between (and, I admit, sometimes during) meetings. When our employees see me giving myself permission to put my health first, they’re more likely to give themselves permission, too.
A Healthy Culture Is Possible
Most of us spend more time at work than we do anywhere else. When you create a culture of health at your workplace, you benefit your organization and help your employees live healthier, happier lives – both in and out of the office. Start thinking about ways you can incorporate a culture of health at your organization, and help your employees get their year off to a healthy start.
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