Always Implement Feedback Reports. Feedback reports are a life changing aspect of a supportive wellness workspace. This will tell you exactly how someone is feeling, and it will give you the opportunity to give them anything that they are lacking, or to support in any way they might need it.
The pandemic pause brought us to a moment of collective reckoning about what it means to live well and to work well. As a result, employees are sending employers an urgent signal that they are no longer willing to choose one — life or work — at the cost of the other. Working from home brought life literally into our work. And as the world now goes hybrid, employees are drawing firmer boundaries about how much of their work comes into their life. Where does this leave employers? And which perspectives and programs contribute most to progress? In our newest interview series, Working Well: How Companies Are Creating Cultures That Support & Sustain Mental, Emotional, Social, Physical & Financial Wellness, we are talking to successful executives, entrepreneurs, managers, leaders, and thought leaders across all industries to share ideas about how to shift company cultures in light of this new expectation. We’re discovering strategies and steps employers and employees can take together to live well and to work well.
As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of Brittany Mendez, CMO of Floridapanhandle.com.
Brittany Mendez has been working in the content creation realm for seven years. She now works as a Chief Marketing Officer at a travel brand focusing on customer experience in the vacation world.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you better. Tell us about a formative experience that prompted you to change your relationship with work and how work shows up in your life.
I have always been a hard worker who has, unfortunately, had to deal with mental health issues. I found myself stuck inside of a toxic work environment where my well-being was deteriorating, and I felt like I couldn’t be open with anyone there about it. After I left, I found a job that was the complete opposite. It was supportive, it was open-minded, and it was kind. At that point, I knew that this was exactly what I needed. From then on, I have held the importance of a workplace that cares about its employees to the highest standard.
Harvard Business Review predicts that wellness will become the newest metric employers will use to analyze and to assess their employees’ mental, physical and financial health. How does your organization define wellness, and how does your organization measure wellness?
My organization defines wellness as the essential well-being and part of an employee’s happiness within themselves and within the company.
We measure wellness by doing frequent check-ups with one another. We often meet up to discuss if there’s anything that could be done differently, if there’s anything that we can help one another with, and then go from there.
Based on your experience or research, how do you correlate and quantify the impact of a well workforce on your organization’s productivity and profitability?
When there’s positive wellness in the office, everything runs more proficiently. There’s better communication and there’s better culture, letting everyone feel productive in their departments and their tasks — thus making for a more profitable and efficient workspace.
Even though most leaders have good intentions when it comes to employee wellness, programs that require funding are beholden to business cases like any other initiative. The World Health Organization estimates for every $1 invested into treatment for common mental health disorders, there is a return of $4 in improved health and productivity. That sounds like a great ROI. And, yet many employers struggle to fund wellness programs that seem to come “at the cost of the business.” What advice do you have to offer to other organizations and leaders who feel stuck between intention and impact?
Always choose to make an impact on someone’s better well-being. In general, mental health and other wellness programs are a tough battle to face, but having your company support its employees in that way takes everything to a completely different level. Make the difference in your employee’s lives. The impact will always be greater than what we can even begin to believe.
Speaking of money matters, a recent Gallup study reveals employees of all generations rank wellbeing as one of their top three employer search criteria. How are you incorporating wellness programs into your talent recruitment and hiring processes?
Generally, we ask about interests and state our benefits and programs outright. That way, if they have questions or want to know more about what programs that we offer, they will have that opportunity. If a “future hire” or “recent hire” shows interest in learning about the wellness programs, then that is usually a great sign for us and for them.
We’ve all heard of the four-day work week, unlimited PTO, mental health days, and on demand mental health services. What innovative new programs and pilots are you launching to address employee wellness? And, what are you discovering? We would benefit from an example in each of these areas.
- Mental Wellness: We have an open-door policy when it comes to communication. If someone isn’t in their right frame of mind, they can be completely transparent with anyone in the office to sort it out.
- Emotional Wellness: Therapy is included in our benefits, offering them the ideal situation to work out what they need. Also, we do have occasional team building exercises and conversations that opens the door even more for complete transparency.
- Social Wellness: We support one another at social outings and events. We will make a plan to have happy hour, team lunch, and live music events together.
- Physical Wellness: Our boss is a huge advocate for physical wellness and often runs 50k marathons. We offer activities such as basketball, running, and other sport-related activities.
- Financial Wellness: There are plenty of incentives in place for those to earn more money. There are also bonuses and raises. If any employee feels that they deserve more, they can always talk to their direct report and discuss those matters freely.
Can you please tell us more about a couple of specific ways workplaces would benefit from investing in your ideas above to improve employee wellness?
Employee wellness is vital to a thriving company. Companies will hopefully become inspired and want to have more social interactions with each other, become more transparent with each other, and invest in each other. Having a retreat or a yoga class is also another great way to connect as well as work on physical well-being. Some companies I have worked at before even had a gym and a pool at the in-office corporate location. There is truly an abundance of programs to partake in with team members or simply as an offer for your team members.
How are you reskilling leaders in your organization to support a “Work Well” culture?
Our leaders are mentored with respect and open ears. We treat them how we want the rest of our employees to be treated, and how we want them all to treat us in return. We find that doing this teaches them the importance of a “work well” culture. It might not be “taught” or “reskilled”, but it is without a doubt reciprocated and shown.
Ideas take time to implement. What is one small step every individual, team or organization can take to get started on these ideas — to get well?
Look within yourself. Listen to your body and your mind and find out exactly what it needs. Then, listen to each other. Be supportive. This will all go a long way on the road to a better well-being.
What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Workplace Wellness?”
- Always Implement Feedback Reports. Feedback reports are a life changing aspect of a supportive wellness workspace. This will tell you exactly how someone is feeling, and it will give you the opportunity to give them anything that they are lacking, or to support in any way they might need it.
- Offer Telemedicine Opportunities. Telehealth has blossomed since the pandemic. Offer those opportunities for employees to sit down with a therapist or with a doctor to discuss any ailments or problems that they might have.
- Embrace Differences. There is an abundance of different religions, races, ideologies, and such. Embrace each other with open arms and never judge each other simply because you are different from one another. You also see this with dietary restrictions. Don’t single someone out simply because they don’t/can’t eat the same food as you.
- Take Part in Group Physical Activities. Organize a morning office walk, have the chance to play activities together, and give opportunities like discounted gym memberships. Physical health is just as important as mental health, but it can be expensive. Give employees the option to enjoy physical activities on their own time or as a whole team.
- Incentivize Workers For A Better Financial Future. Offering incentives and bonuses for workers will never go out of style. Being low and struggling with finances can take a toll on a person’s overall well-being. Offering them these opportunities gives them the chance to make what they want when they want it.
What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of workplace wellness?
My greatest source of optimism is truly within my office. I see how my company talks to each other and supports each other, and it is an environment made for the future. I’ve worked in workplaces that didn’t support wellness, and I have worked in places where the culture is toxic. The office that I work at now ignites my optimism and motivates me to be the best version of myself — professionally and personally.
Our readers often like to continue the conversation with our featured interviewees. How can they best connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?
They can contact me through my LinkedIn! I am always willing to learn more and discuss wellness.
Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and wellness.