So How Do You Improve Employee Performance?
The costs of physical and mental stress are considerable for an organisation; the loss of staff morale has far-reaching implications. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that so many companies are installing wellness programmes – the evidence is clear – that by paying attention to the well-being of your staff it fosters a happier and more successful work environment.
Working Longer Hours Means Stressful Days
Employees are faced with more stressors in their jobs than ever before – from working longer hours with more responsibilities, fearing redundancy due to economic instability or even a monotonous job. It can often be hard to avoid the kind of heightened tension and stress, which leads to feelings of being overwhelmed and mentally and physically drained.
Healthy people have more energy, are more focussed, tend to be more cooperative and more productive.
According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, every $1 invested in employee wellness programs yields roughly $4 in savings through reduced sick days, higher productivity and decreased overall health costs, resulting in improved all-around employee performance.
The beneficial side-effects of de-stressing, instead of distressing, are making it a top focus and many CEOs are turning to yoga and mindfulness as a cost effective way to keep an eye on the bottom line whilst supporting a happier and more efficient workforce. The benefits of yoga and mindfulness are becoming evident as yoga mats are rolled out in boardrooms across Australia and internationally.
The US health insurer Aetna famously offers its workers meditation and yoga classes and nearly a third of the company’s 50,000 employees have taken a class.
When Aetna’s 2012 financial performance was reviewed, their CEO noted, “Health care costs had fallen. For the year, paid medical claims per employee were down 7.3 percent. That amounted to about $9 million in savings. The next year, health care costs rose 5.7 percent but have remained about 3 percent lower than they were before yoga and meditation were introduced at the company.”
Go for Yoga
Yoga is an ancient 5000-year-old practice which has been grown exponentially in the western world over the last decade. It offers a perfect remedy for the ailments of modern society:
In a fast-paced, busy world yoga and meditation classes offer one of the few times when you can truly unplug from technology and free yourself from the distractions around you.
In the western world yoga is portrayed as a purely physical exercise; however, one of the reasons yoga has stood the tests of time is that it offers much more than simply a physical workout. The physical practice of postures (asana) that we know as yoga in the west is simply a small part of the “8 traditional limbs” of yoga.
Two of the other yoga limbs that are most familiar in modern society are meditation and pranayama (breath work).
The Sanskrit word for yoga means “union” – this means the integration of the body, mind and soul. Therefore, a large emphasis is placed on the internal mind with roots deeply entrenched in philosophy. Yoga not only strengthens the physical body, it also encourages self-reflection and a more positive view of the world.
This post was written by Debby Lewis for Alsco and was published here.
This article was also featured in Alsco Greenroom:
Greenroom provides healthier, greener and safer options for employees and workplaces.