Create a plan and process to encourage employees to buy into the company mission and culture. Company executives must fully embody the culture and need to be an example, the living proof of how it works. This creates a foundation for a healthy and fun work environment resulting in employees that love showing up to work every day.

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 interviewing George Andriopoulos.

George Andriopoulos is an established business executive, award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker and community leader with a fierce drive for success and a mission to bring global impact through his work. George is a proven veteran of the business world and has developed an outstanding track record of success in implementing strategies that elevate organizations in both financial and cultural success. George received multiple awards and accolades for his work in cultivating sales and leadership training which spring-boarded him in 2013 to founding Launchpad Five One Six, a boutique management consulting firm. George and his team have achieved a tremendous amount of growth with Launchpad and have helped countless organizations implement new growth strategies and transform their companies.

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.

The most challenging year of my life was 2011; I had worked my way through the pharmaceutical industry for 10-plus years and achieved a level of success that I had only dreamed of at the time. However, in that moment, finding myself divorced with two small children, I was both alone and unhappy with my career. The professional culture that I came up in lacked structure, was reckless and full of conflict and competition. The driving factor was always winning and wealth; nothing else mattered. The reason that cultures like this are dangerous is because we never know how other individuals will react. Money was king. Work was everything and my family came second. Friends came a distant third. After reaching my lowest point, I decided to pick myself up and rebuild. During the process, I built my own core values system for the first time in my adult life. This allowed me to found my company, Launchpad Five One Six, which is built around my personal life and core values. With this approach, success happened the right way and I am proud that my company will soon be 10 years old. My company took shape around my family and the life I wanted to have.

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?

Wellness and having a life balance are tied together. Wellness is staying apprised of your mental and physical health and giving yourself the opportunity to work and become financially healthy. Companies must find and reach a balance for their employees so that work and personal time are separate. When this equilibrium is reached, individuals can be fully authentic in both spaces. The balance we preach in our organization allows any overlaps to be healthy as opposed to toxic. My company has a simple method of open communication that allows our staff and clients to communicate freely at all times. Periodic check-ins, retreats and culture balancing outings are some of the keystones of our wellness program.

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?

If an executive is implementing a new wellness program within an organization that they want to see produce results, it is critical to gather data first. This creates a baseline for understanding what kind of impact these programs will have on the company. Additionally, I recommend splitting the programs up by department and doing a soft rollout.

Then down the road, months or years later, a measurement of the data and production as a whole can be analyzed and the impact will be understood.

A person should be designated to communicate the company’s commitment to wellness and programs. The messenger has to be transparent and genuine. It needs to be very distinct that the company actually cares about their wellness and shows this through action. It must be clear that the programs created benefit the staff much more than the company.

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?

If you invest in employee wellness, with good intentions, there will be a significant return. Many businesses have a difficult time differentiating between optics and real action. Employees are smart and will easily see-through company management with the wrong intentions. Business leaders have to create programs with a clear intent and involve activities which engage employees and secure their buy-in. When taking this approach, programs must be well designed to foster employee involvement. Management has to put their faith in employees and trust them. When wellness is a priority, the return will be much greater than the original investment.

Many progressive corporate leaders see remote work as an investment in employee wellness. Workers are no longer stressed out dealing with long commutes, weather and juggling family obligations.

Numerous companies have gone the route of adopting full or partial remote working. This eliminates the need for massive traditional office space. In this case, corporate space can be downsized or eliminated, thereby saving, in some cases, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars a year. Remote working employees in many cases are equal or more productive than they are at the office. Working from home, for many, but not all, is less stressful and allows for greater family or free time. The fact is that following the pandemic many people recognized that their mental and physical wellbeing was enhanced by working from home; they are not looking to give this up. Employers need to recognize this, leverage its power and develop creative solutions.

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?

My company views mental health as having emotional, psychological and social well-being in the workplace. Employees deserve to work in a toxic-free environment with executives who put employee well-being first. As Americans started returning to the workplace after the pandemic, they listed mental health as the number one priority when applying for jobs. With remote work, mental health and individual happiness has become a priority.

Employees that work from home are not immune to mental health struggles, including feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Today, companies hiring both in-person and remote positions must have an employee mental wellness program in place. Employers must accept that remote work is here to stay. Many workers found that they prefer working from home and that it allows them to be happier.

The Great Resignation began when we saw people leave their jobs that required them to go to back the office. These same workers then applied for remote jobs for similar positions and were hired, making 30% more.

The problem became even worse when companies with staffing challenges started paying higher salaries for remote positions. This in turn attracted more candidates.

When accepting the fact that remote work is a mental health wellness initiative, they saw more applicants, greater production and they are experiencing higher employee retention.

Over the last 10 years, companies have been forced to get creative with benefits packages, as healthcare and insurance have become more expensive and unaffordable. To remain competitive, companies should consider indirectly offering benefits that impact physical and mental health. These could be reimbursing gym memberships, paying for therapy sessions, or investing in classes that enhance employee mental health.

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 are seeing more businesses giving their employees access to tools where they can use manage their mental health. Organizations will now pay for subscriptions to mental health mobile apps. Other organizations have included therapy into their benefits packages, including both individual employee therapy and group therapy as well as having a psychologist on staff. Leaders recognize that where employees work, how they get to work and how they interact impacts their mental health and stress levels.

  • Emotional Wellness:

When employees are in a healthy mental state, their productivity and performance is enhanced. To ensure that workers are maintaining their mental health, companies must continue to implement new programs and offer expanded resources for their workers. Business leaders need to understand that employees can be overworked and that burnout happens. Burn out is real and will ruin any employee’s motivation and productivity. As a leader and an executive, it is a necessity to monitor employees to understand the warning signs of burnout. To address this, the organization needs to incorporate mental health days into employee paid time off. When an employee shows signs of a negative shift in behavior, it is the manager’s job to identify and address the issues. Leaders need to be proactive and empathize with their workers. Long gone are the days when companies overworked employees and achieved goals. Placing wellness first creates the right and ideal environment for achieving business goals as well as employee job satisfaction.

  • Social Wellness:

Outside of happy hours or work parties and events, there are plenty of ways organizations can encourage social wellness. Many, for example, give employees time to volunteer for charities and causes. This time is in addition to their paid time off and vacation. This encourages employees to volunteer and give back. When they do, they feel better about themselves, others and their employer. These activities boost morale and enhance the workplace culture. At the same time, employees are able to partake in activities that are meaningful and memorable to them.

Employees that engage with each other during group events such as marathons, 5K’s, charity walks and other activities bond with each other. Collectively, working together they support the missions of not-for-profits which impact their communities. They are proud to be part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and mission.

  • Physical Wellness:

In addition to gym reimbursements in benefits packages, health and diet counselors, fitness competitions and other approaches play a part in overall employee physical wellness. Physical health is directly tied to mental health, and when both are addressed, the best results are achieved.

  • Financial Wellness:

Being proactive with employees about financial literacy is, by far, the best program organizations can implement. I urge my clients to offer workshops and seminars for their employees because a majority of people do not know how to effectively manage their money. Financial problems often lead to stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues and physical health problems. Financial wellness will support emotional and mental wellness. When employees are not worried about money, they will be more productive.

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?

Transparency in leadership is key. Leaders and executives must be up front when communicating with employees. Actions speak louder than words. To build employee trust, leaders must always follow through with the actions promised. Organizations function more effectively when there is top to bottom and bottom to top trust. Open communications are needed when sharing good news as well as business challenges.

When all parties are clear on the organization’s vision and current state of affairs, stress levels are reduced. This makes it easier for all departments to focus on the goals and tasks at hand.

How are you reskilling leaders in your organization to support a “Work Well” culture?

Leaders must effectively communicate messages to their employees and do so with empathy and transparency. There must be a zero-tolerance policy for organizational leaders who do not embrace this.

Leaders on all levels must be in alignment with the company’s specific mission, vision and values; no business can afford to waste time with disorganized leadership. It is challenging to teach leaders and managers who have their own ingrained approaches and styles. If they are willing, and if new skills are needed, training can be offered or they will need to leave. Training and reskilling can be an investment worth making, but only when the candidates are in a position to embrace new approaches and strategies.

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?

Write down the vision for the employee wellness program. First, create a vehicle to gather data from the organization. Executives can measure productivity data very easily internally, but should get feedback from all stakeholders. This can be done through a town hall, a survey or poll or focus group. It is necessary that ideas are secured from its stakeholders because they will give feedback relating to what needs to be improved or fixed. From here with the corporate vision, a strategy can be created that will lead to an effective plan and programming.

What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Workplace Wellness?”

  1. Effective Leadership:

Strong leadership starts from the top and works its way down. This creates a culture within an organization that generates a productive work environment and a workplace where people actually want to be there. Top-level executives are going to dictate exactly how a business is going to grow and operate. A strong leader’s actions must always speak a lot louder than their words.

2. Pivoting:

It is imperative that companies embrace flexibility with their employees and services. Society is constantly evolving and changing; business leaders have to learn how to adapt to industry shifts and different environments. Companies that are unwilling to change and stay focused on one set service often go out of business. This is also true when looking internally at employees and meeting their needs. Leaders need to keep their workforce motivated and productive. Being unwilling to change and adapt will drive people away or, at a minimum, impact productivity.

As we see more remote work, successful organizations are adapting. Some are eliminating office space, creating hybrid environments or pivoting to fully remote work to accommodate the needs of their workers.

3. Investing in your Company Mission:

Create a plan and process to encourage employees to buy into the company mission and culture. Company executives must fully embody the culture and need to be an example, the living proof of how it works. This creates a foundation for a healthy and fun work environment resulting in employees that love showing up to work every day.

4. Get Creative in Your Hiring Process to Attract Talent:

To attract talent that matches a company’s values and culture, transparency and creativity are needed in the hiring process. For ideal candidates who are in the final phases of interviewing, set them up alongside someone with whom they would be working. Watch how they interact and communicate. Put a process in place where prospects have access to speaking with a staff member who works in the company and department before making them an offer. I know based on a resume if somebody is going to be qualified. However, qualified is great, managers and leaders need to determine if they are the right fit. Many businesses fail to realize this in the hiring process.

5. The Generation of Employees:

Organizations have become worker-centric; employees, their customers and leadership are all interconnected. When all areas of a business are working as one vehicle, it takes the pressure off workers.

Understand that employees from different generations approach work differently. Younger workers look for employers with cultures that they can connect with and that offer flexibility. Older workers prefer structure and security. Keep all of these different factors in mind when developing benefits packages and incentive programs.

What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of workplace wellness?

More organizations are investing in their staff and in personal employee wellness programs. As businesses start implementing these initiatives, it will make them productive and places where employees want to work every day. Work-life wellness is achieved when leaders fully understand the needs of their employees. They need to include this in the corporate mission and it must align with goals.

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?

You can learn about me and my companies like Launchpad Five One Six, a management consulting/advisory firm, at and

I have had the pleasure of starting two of my own podcasts through my podcast production company, Launchpad 516 Studios. The Launchcast and Over My Dad Bod(Cast) can be found on all streaming platforms and on the following links:

You can also follow me on Instagram, @launchpadceo, and LinkedIn,, as I am always looking to engage with my audience.

Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and wellness.