A healthy workforce are also a happy workforce.

26 Nov

I spent the summer working with pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme recently. We have provided them with a fitness and nutrition course. It is a chance for the staff to find a level of fitness that they might not have experienced before and in the process lose or add weight. At the end of the day it is not just about fitness it’s more than that.

When we had finished each evenings session the smiling faces where not just a result of the relief that the hour of exercise was over or the fact that I kept reminding everyone that most people were sitting on the couch watching soaps, while we were staring at the sky doing sit ups and thanking life for being so good to us ( you gotta make it fun). It was the feeling that something difficult had been accomplished and more than that, it was the release of feel good hormones(Endorphins) into our bodies that change our mood to a more positive one than we have had before. This is why exercise is so good for us. It is more than the exercise it is the benefits to our mood and well being. Try it some time when your mood is a little low. Partake in twenty or thirty minutes of good exercise, I mean a vigorous walk,run, workout or a team game. Pause afterwards to gauge the way you feel. You will see a difference!!.

Exercise is great but it is important that you inject some fun into it, even when you set goals. One of the goals we set was to run a 5km  by the end of the programme. There is a 5kmrun called Runamuck(which speaks for itself)  which is basically a very long assault course with over 1,000 participants. Lots of mud, music, people in fancy dress and tons of fun. These are goals we like. If you don’t like cycling then don’t cycle. If you don’t like jogging alone then find a team sport. Just make that exercise fun.

Merck are doing the right thing by their staff by promoting a healthy active lifestyle but they are also contributing to their positive mental health without setting out to do this. More companies should do this. We at Wake Up! have put together programmes that can make your staff feel better about themselves not just physically but also mentally. A happy workforce is not only productive but also more creative, less prone to take sick leave,and more likely to stay committed to your organization, resulting in lower staff turnover levels. Not a bad result!!.

If you are an employer, think what have you done lately that has made your employees feel happier and better about themselves. Think of how your employees would feel if they understood that you cared about how they felt. The activity can be small but the results will be much bigger than you expected.

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