Wellness in the workplace: having a doctor in the office

Wellness in the workplace: having a doctor in the office

 

If you want a workplace with a high-functioning, healthy team, you should embrace the concept of corporate wellbeing, says Dr Tom Mulholland.

It would be fair to say that corporate wellbeing (CW) is the buzzword at the moment. 
When I started promoting this concept nearly 20 years ago, many people thought it meant yoga and smoothies. The occasional Luddite may still think that, but many people have woken up to the fact that corporate wellbeing programmes not only reduce risk, but improve productivity. 

You can see these benefits in customer service, staff engagement, sales, reduced absenteeism, staff retention, loyalty, and profit. 

Return on investment

These attributes were once seen as soft skills, but the hard facts are that investing in corporate wellbeing now provides a clear return on investment and a link to the bottom line. 

My mantra has always been that ‘if you measure it, you can manage it’, so how do you measure corporate wellbeing? 

Health has three main components: physical, mental, and social. 

Wellbeing is like a bank account. We need to make deposits, to ensure when the demands of workload, stress, and illness strike, we have enough in the tank to cover the withdrawals. 

The science of wellbeing
There’s now a science to wellbeing. We know social factors such as being connected, being mindful, and learning new things improve our wellbeing and productivity. 

But not only do many people not know the components of their own wellbeing, they don’t know their own medical data – the numbers that can help them lead happier and healthier lives. 

Workers are more likely to know if the tyre pressures or animal-fat solids are right than whether their own blood pressure or cholesterol stats are on the high side. They may know their company balance sheet better than the balance sheet between their ears and how their own mental health stacks up. 

It’s wise for businesses to measure and manage the wellbeing of their staff, and link this to metrics such as productivity.

An app to measure health

To address this, my team has spent the last three years developing and implementing a wellness app, KYND Wellness, that can measure a number of variables that cover physical, mental, and social health.

KYND can deliver these numbers and a score out of 100 to the staff member on their smartphone.

It can also measure the wellbeing of employees’ families and help to improve it. 
Metadata can be provided to employers through corporate reporting and a dashboard so, for example, employers can target staff issues such as sleep apnoea and the resulting tiredness, or improve personal financial literacy for those stressed about money.

It makes sense to invest in your staff’s health, with visiting speakers, health programmes, or even something this simple: an app which operates in the background.

The KYND Wellness app is available on the App Store for iOS devices, or on Google Play.

First published Autumn 2018

Story by Dr Tom Mulholland