Employee stress, anxiety and burnout are not new concepts in the workplace. They have always existed and they have always played a role in overall employee health, satisfaction and productivity. In the wake of the pandemic and a shift in how we work, employers at the helm of companies of all sizes are prioritizing employee wellness as they reevaluate and redefine their culture and, in many cases, proceed with a “people-first” ethos. From mental health and stress management to nutrition coaching and fitness classes, these five business leaders share their approaches to a healthier business from the inside, out.

 Business people pose happily in a parking lot
Wellness credits, gratitude practice, journaling, unlimited time off and mental health messaging are some of the ways The Inspirant Group integrates wellness into company culture. — Inspirant

Meighan Newhouse, CEO, Inspirant Group LLC

Who we are: Naperville, IL-based “unconsultants” specializing in services focused on strategy & operations, talent & organization and technology & data.

One of Inspirant’s core values is “to care about the greater good.” This not only means caring about clients and the larger community through the pro bono and volunteer work we engage in as a company, but — perhaps most importantly — it means looking out for each other on our team. We 100% believe that companies are made up of people, and in order for those people to reach their full potential, they need to be supported in all aspects of their lives. Health is the foundation of function; our employees need to be physically and mentally healthy to reach their full potential and deliver on their clients’ needs.

One of our pillars for 2021 is Embody — to us, this means both to live our core values as well as bring the world class solutions we deliver to our clients in house. One of our solutions in our talent and organization practice is to provide leadership development opportunities. We have been focusing on employee wellness for our clients and learned about the benefits of having a gratitude practice. This resonated with our team and we brought it in-house for an all-company “lunch and learn.” We have multiple check-ins via our Teams chat, words of encouragement and “happiness tips” from the Little Book of Lykke. As far as COVID safety, we have been supportive of the team in scheduling time to get vaccinated and taking time afterwards to recover; we are also being mindful and compassionate of individual levels of comfort as the world begins to open up. We individually and collectively suffered from the trauma of a global pandemic, so we want to meet our team and clients where they are, instead of forcing them to be somewhere else. Follow Inspirant Group on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn & Instagram.

 Running race participants pose outdoors with race bibs
Team Confluence Running, representing the sport in which they provide expertise within the Binghamton, Corning and Hudson Valley communities. — Confluence

Matthew Francis Gawors, CEO, Confluence Running

Who we are: A running, walking and fitness specialty shop in Binghamton, NY, focused on improving its communities’ physical, mental and emotional health through product expertise, tourism events, coaching and community support programs.

At Confluence Running we strive to have our employees lead by example and live their lives in a positive and healthy way. Our employees are supported in several ways to live healthy:

Coaching: Most of our managers are professional running and triathlon coaches as well as personal trainers and college health professors. They strive to positively influence our part-time employees and guide them with training and health questions and we provide them with a yearly financial incentive to attain a new fitness certification. Through periodization training and running form analysis, our coaches can analyze athletic biomechanics in order to minimize acute and chronic injuries among our staff.

Products: The number one reason women do not continue running long term is because of ill-fitting apparel, e.g. sports bras. Our employees need to understand this and experience properly fitting product to continue to motivate them and their customers to better health and training. We incentivize employees by giving them an “at-cost” 40% discount as well as by providing them with free products from our vendors.

Events: Confluence Running puts on several events and races in our communities. Employees get to run for free in order to provide them with motivation to continue to train. Employees also have the incentive to volunteer with local running clubs and start up group runs for free products. It’s our hope that our employees will lead our community to better health. Follow Confluence Running on Instagram & Facebook: Confluence Running Corning & Confluence Running Hudson Valley.

 Group of people in athletic clothing pose with animals in a park
WIth a focus on work that feels good, the Boston, MA-based Wellable team tends to mind and body amid fresh air and animal therapy. — Wellable

Brighid Courtney, director of Wellable Labs, Wellable

Who we are: A Boston-based employee wellness and engagement company that helps other companies thrive by building a culture of health and wellness through wellness technology, health content and wellness services.

At Wellable, we boast that our people are our greatest asset. To support the unique needs and interests of each employee, we offer a range of workplace programs to promote well-being, engagement and inclusion. We have enhanced traditional benefits to help our employees thrive. At Wellable, we enjoy a well-stocked kitchen full of nutritious snacks and meals; ergonomic workstations that are essential to productivity and health; a flexible work policy that promotes autonomy, self-care and work-life balance; and an allowance that supports personal and professional development. These benefits provide a solid foundation that supports our vibrant work culture where a diverse mix of talented people commit to stay and do their best work.

To relieve pandemic-related stressors, Wellable has invested in fostering a virtual work environment that is supportive and compassionate. Productivity, familiarity, and sociability have been achieved through the implementation of a few simple policies and initiatives. We often begin the work week with virtual coffee meetings and regular personal checks-ins with colleagues. Bi-weekly cultural events prompt employees to Zoom to France and visit the Eiffel Tower or enjoy the culinary history of making empanadas while sharing a delicious meal. To celebrate the role that each employee has had in making the past year successful, each teammate is invited to attend a company-wide retreat known as our “Wellable Family Vacation," which provides a platform for team building with creative, leisure activities that are productive, memorable and most importantly, fun. Follow Wellable on LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter.

 Coworkers participate in group yoga class in modern office
To promote wellness as a community, yoga has been a part of TBG’s office culture since before the pandemic and is now enjoyed virtually, led by one of its team members. — The Bachrach Group

Anthony Fanzo, president, The Bachrach Group

Who we are: Executive search, recruitment and consulting firm headquartered in New York, NY, that provides tailored staffing solutions to organizations of all sizes.

In the stressful world of staffing, TBG understands that the key to a productive work environment is the happiness, health and well-being of our employees. TBG promotes employee wellness through a number of interactive initiatives that bring our employees closer together, and make the workplace feel more like a home away from home. We encourage all of our employees, as well as our clients, to participate in free virtual yoga sessions led by one of our own associate directors. The virtual format of these classes allows for our employees and friends all around the nation to participate. All of the classes are recorded and made available for individuals to revisit. To further encourage the mental health and wellness of our employees, we have also had a reiki master visit our NYC headquarters to perform spiritual healing on interested employees. Our yoga and reiki sessions have been well received by our employees, who find these practices to be relaxing and restoring and put them at ease. Our virtual lead yogini is one of our very own recruiters, Caitlyn deLahunta. She does an amazing job leading the spiritual wellness of all of our TBGers.

We have also introduced initiatives that encourage collaboration among our employees, most recently being a company-made cookbook that will be made available on Amazon.com, with all proceeds going to a local hunger-relief organization. The cookbook contains recipes contributed by our employees, as well as employees from our sister company, Jackson Lucas. The cookbook has been a fun way for the whole company to work collectively on a project that will ultimately benefit TBG and our community. Follow The Bachrach Group on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & YouTube.

 Group of colleagues stand on deck with company banner
At Osmosis, headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, a holistic approach to wellness includes daily gratitude practice, weekly meditation classes and mental health events. — Osmosis

Hillary Acer, VP, people and experience, Osmosis

Who we are: Osmosis is a health education platform out of Salt Lake City that aims to empower the world's clinicians and caregivers with the best learning experience possible.

At Osmosis, a medical education company that has been remote since 2015, we have continued to prioritize employee health and wellbeing, encouraging flexible schedules for an improved, what we call, “life-work balance.” In 2018, we hired our first in-house Wellness Coach to work one-on-one with employees, began hosting fitness classes and challenges and normalized mental and emotional health conversations through daily gratitude practices, weekly meditation classes, live virtual fitness classes and mental health events.

We were lucky to have built a foundation of health practices before COVID-19; however, the importance of prioritizing employee health became ever more clear months into the pandemic when stressors increased and outlets decreased. Looking ahead, workplaces are trending towards offering more flexible, remote and results-based roles with mandatory office time becoming less relevant. At the same time, what hasn’t seemed to change is that employees continue to seek organizations with strong values, missions that drive global impact and perhaps most importantly, empathetic leaders and managers who care, appreciate and support their teams. Follow Osmosis on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn.

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