20 February 2023
In my early professional years, corporate wellness was more of a theoretical concept than a practice.
Although Cayman was an early adopter of mandatory health insurance coverage, employer benefits tended to stop there. Over the years, Cayman’s business environment has matured and employee satisfaction is now being prioritised by many businesses. Returning to the office after COVID-19 has presented many challenges to businesses. Rather than forcing employees back to work, employers are trying to entice staff back to the office with benefits ranging from flexible work environments and modern work spaces to innovative wellness programmes.
If you are one of the growing number of businesses implementing a wellness programme, here are a few things to consider to design a programme that will be effective and popular.
Make it FUN
For many years, the only fitness option available was to negotiate a group discount for a traditional gym membership, most of which went underutilised or unused. Cayman recently has seen rapid growth in boutique group fitness offerings, such as Ryde’s indoor cycling studio.
Boutique studios tend to have instructor-led group classes which are safe, fun and effective. So think outside the box, call around and visit the many great boutique fitness studios to identify fitness offerings that will appeal to your staff. Remember that you can also encourage your staff to participate in many great affordable outdoor activities such as the Flowers sea swim, an Earth Day beach clean-up or the Deputy Governor’s 5K run, which can round out a healthy fitness programme.
Help your employees adopt a holistic exercise routine incorporating at least five days of exercise as well as nutritional discipline.
Make it EASY
Ask your HR department to take responsibility for organising wellness benefits.
1. Negotiate a group corporate deal with a number of organisations that appeal to you.
2. Subsidise the monthly fee if possible in order to make the services affordable to more staff.
3. Offer a payroll deduction programme so employees can easily commit long term.
4. Organise team-building events that support healthy lifestyles instead of the party culture.
Make it a COMMITMENT
Remember, fitness is aspirational for most people and many folks will begin making excuses to quit their exercise routine when they get tired or busy – just when they need it the most. So take that decision-making away from them. Ask them to sign them up to a 12-month commitment and pledge to follow through for the full year. Then your HR department should take responsibility for paying the monthly fees on the employee’s behalf so that they are financially vested in attending. Don’t let employees quit mid-year. They will thank you for it when they have fully incorporated exercise into their routine.
Make it part of the CULTURE
If you supply snacks and drinks at the office, try to eliminate junk food. If you organise networking events, try to choose those that support healthy lifestyles. If your employee needs an extra half-hour to fit in their exercise at lunchtime, allow them to make up the hours after 5 p.m.
David Walker and his wife, Kelly Walker, are co-founders of Ryde in Camana Bay. For further information on the studio or how Ryde can assist with corporate wellness programmes, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (345) 746-7933.
This article was originally featured in the February 2023 print edition of Camana Bay Times.