Wellness Makes for a Happy Workplaceby Shannon Colavecchio on July 30, 2012
Ask anyone here at Moore Communications Group to list the reasons why Florida Trend just named our firm – for the third year running – a Best Place to Work, they’d probably ask you for an extra sheet of paper. Topping the list, and one of the reasons closest to my heart, is MCG Wellness, the in-house wellness program entering its third year.
I established the program shortly after arriving at MCG in Spring 2010, after the leadership team saw an opportunity to marry my fitness expertise and passion with their desire to keep the staff happy, healthy – and thus productive.
Goodbye, pizza and beer social hours! Hello, healthy potlucks and Friday after-hours kickball games! As the program enters its third year, the culture of MCG has truly changed. Every team member’s awareness of nutrition, exercise habits and overall wellness is heightened. We share healthy recipes and fresh veggies. Staffers run 5ks together, and several attend my bootcamps. Not only are we living and working healthier here from 9 to 5 – we are setting examples beyond this office. And that is the true measure of success: when our own example of fitness and health becomes contagious!
Two weeks ago, for example, we kicked off a 12-hour plank challenge in which we held planks for one minute at a time, every hour from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Most of the MCG staff participated, as did our friends and fellow fitness enthusiasts (and newcomers) all around Tallahassee and as far away as Washington, D.C. One MCG staffer’s friend was so inspired, she issued her own 12-hour plank challenge the following week from her D.C. office.
And after several staffers here followed my lead and started using standing desks, fellow Tallahassee-area communications professionals started hearing about it and have done the same. You can now walk into the Florida Department of Business Regulation and the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and you’ll see standing desks (more on that trend coming next month in Tallahassee Magazine). Meanwhile, Leon County is about to refresh and revitalize its own wellness program, in hopes of helping its 1,400 employees grow healthier.
MCG Wellness would not have turned into such a success without the support of CEO and founder Karen Moore and the rest of the leadership team. And really, their support from the start was a no-brainer. Because let’s be honest: An unhealthy, lethargic staff isn’t exactly going to set the world on fire. Not to mention the reality that an unhealthy staff costs the employer more in health care!
Plenty of statistics show that in-house wellness programs reduce employer health care costs while boosting output. For example, according from the American Heart Association:
- Fitness programs have reduced employer healthcare costs by 20 to 55 percent.
- Reducing just one health risk increases a person's productivity on the job by 9 percent and reduces absenteeism by 2 percent.
- For every $1 the average company spends on its worksite wellness program, it receives an average net benefit of $3.40 to $7.88.
- At worksites with physical activity programs, employers have reduced short-term sick leave by 6 to 32 percent and increased productivity by 2 to 52 percent.
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S., and physical inactivity doubles the risk.
The MCG team is living, walking, running, planking proof of this! We are leaner, more energetic, and learning that an office permeated by “wellness” is a great place to work!