The working population in the Philippines is facing a huge problem: there is now a segment of the working population called "Generation O" (overweight, overworked and overstressed).
This is partly due to employees becoming more and more sedentary, chained to their desks for most of their waking hours.
As Coach Chappy of 360 Fitness Club said in The Wellness Report 2013, "With the automation of almost everything, we simply don't move as much as we used to."
Thus, health risks such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses are now affecting even younger employees. With the rise in these common workplace issues comes higher healthcare costs. All employers understand that prevention is always better than cure. This is why a plan of action needs to take place.
Investing in wellness programs have proven to lower healthcare costs and more importantly, boost overall productivity. Franchise owners know that wellness programs can help increase employee and franchisee engagement, energy and morale in the workplace.
These intangibles greatly affect employee's buy-in to the company, buy-in to his or her role, and boosts overall productivity, in the end contributing improvements in bottom line.
But the question is where to start? Coach Chappy from 360 Fitness Club gives five steps that can help you in promoting wellness for your franchise business:
1. Create a survey
Find out what your employees want to experience or learn about. It may be group exercise classes, gym membership discounts, outdoor team building fitness activities or education on nutrition. It is important that before you implement a program, you know what your employees’ interests and needs are.
2. Invest in talks or workshops
Focus on education first before implementing activities. By investing in talks and workshops, you can give your employees a platform to understand the benefits of exercise, nutrition and healthy living, creating awareness and their buy in to programs which will be implemented.
3. Have regular activities
Help your employees build the fitness habit by holding regular activities that are suitable for everyone. By giving them options and different activities, you can target a larger group of people for your wellness program. whether it be a mind-body workout like yoga or a more intense circuit training, make sure options are available for them which they can join consistently.
4. Come up with a theme
You might need to have a theme or a goal-oriented program in order to retain employee engagement. If you offer monotonous programs or the same thing every month, you might lose the interest of your employees. Keep them interested in the wellness activities by offering inter-department fitness Olympics, fitness relays and biggest loser programs, for example.
5. Monitor progress
Let your employees know that you care about their health and well-being by monitoring their progress and improvement. By tracking their results, they will also be more motivated to get involved in fitness activities and it will also encourage accountability. It is important that you always encourage wellness throughout the workplace so that employees will stay motivated.
When you look after your employees’ health and well-being, you are also taking care of your bottom line. Healthy and happy employees create a more fun, energetic and productive workplace.
Franchise Talk is a content partnership between ABS-CBN News online and Francorp Philippines.
For more information on corporate wellness programs such as group exercise classes, workshops/talks on nutrition, ergonomics, fitness at the office, fitness consultations or customized programs such as fitness olympics and relays, please visit: www.completethecircuit.com
About the author:
Sam Christopher Lim is the Senior Vice-President for marketing & strategy at Francorp Philippines (francorp.com.ph), President of U-Franchise Sales & Management & Management (www.ufranchiseasia.com). He is also currently chair for ASEAN integration for the Philippine Franchise Association.