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Wellness Programs in Companies

Wellness Companies

With every passing year, more and more companies all over India are embracing workplace wellness programs. A large percentage of companies both big and small now offer atleast some type of wellness program or activity compared to ten years or even five years back.

At Wellintra, we have been riding on the back of the wave of the popularity of such programs that most companies want to incorporate at the workplace starting from yoga, meditation, stress relief to more intensive activities like Zumba and Dance Fitness. As the programs become more and more popular at these companies, we have noticed that the management are trying to increase the scope of the wellness programs to cover stress reduction, weight loss and other areas thus creating a more holistic attitude towards employee wellness that goes beyond the usual biometrics such as measurement of blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI index.

At Wellintra, we have been riding on the back of the wave of the popularity of such programs that most companies want to incorporate at the workplace starting from yoga, meditation, stress relief to more intensive activities like Zumba and Dance Fitness. As the programs become more and more popular at these companies, we have noticed that the management are trying to increase the scope of the wellness programs to cover stress reduction, weight loss and other areas thus creating a more holistic attitude towards employee wellness that goes beyond the usual biometrics such as measurement of blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI index.

At Wellintra, we constantly try to engage the management of companies to go beyond the traditional biometrics of employee wellness and move to newer areas which offer better results in employee health and productivity. These days we generally begin the conversation by asking the company. “What is your biggest priority in terms of employee wellness?” Most companies will typically state that obesity and back pain are their biggest problems. But on the other hand whenever we have done some research with company employees most of them mention that, “Oh we are too stressed!” We therefore advise companies now to pay equal attention to stress management apart from the usual targets of weight loss and banishing bodily aches and pains.

Most companies now also offer wide ranging incentives for those who maintain a healthy weight and score high on other wellness criteria. These incentives can be in the form of reduced insurance premiums to cash bonuses. The goal is to encourage healthy behaviour which in the end helps reduce absenteeism and healthcare costs for the company and at the same time helps increase overall productivity.

Designing a Program that Works

At Wellintra, we work both with health insurance firms as well as the companies to evaluate health data and ensure that wellness programs are then tailormade to mitigate risks. For example if a company has an employee population with a high BMI level or high cholesterol, before starting a yoga or an exercise program we suggest that the company talk to it’s employees first about diet & nutrition. We arrange a qualified Nutritionist to come down and talk to the employees and help them to correct their eating habits and what kind of foods to eat and the ones to avoid. Only after this do we start a physical activity program. We also advise someone from the company to have a designated person take charge of wellness acvities and take leadership because wellness should fit in with the long term goals of a company and should not just be started in fits and starts.

What We Do

On our end we design wellness programs with a variety of strategies so that all employees can feel included. For example, yogic breathing and relaxation techniques are suitable for all employees whereas initiatives such as on-site blood pressure screenings can be optional. Exercise programs are designed in such as way that it can be modified for the different abilities and age groups of employees.

Cautions for Employers

On our end, we counsel companies we work with to always consult with the legal team before embarking on a wellness program. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently break a law or regulation. For example, if you are running yoga or Zumba classes in the terrace, ensure that all permissions are in place including fire safety norms and regulations. Also it pays to inform us about standards and practices. In certain companies like Mahindra for example, yoga trainers are refrained from using Mantras or “Om” chanting because the company is highly sensitive about religious matters and wants all activities to be free of any religious connotations. These are matters that we urge all companies to inform us beforehand. Zumba trainers are also advised to face employees when conducting a Zumba session because we have seen that in the absence of mirrors, some trainers who conduct sessions with their backs to the participants have inadvertently physically bumped into and hurt some employees which have led to complaints.

Measuring Success and ROI

Most companies would rightly want to know the returns on all the time and efforts that are invested in wellness programs. A well-publicized study conducted over seven years at PepsiCo, published in the January 2014 issue of Health Affairs, found that disease management programs targeted at conditions like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes returned an average of $3.80 for every dollar invested, while “softer” lifestyle programs returned only $.50 per dollar invested. Though most experts would agree that it is indeed difficult to accurately track what the payoffs are and it is impossible to track rupee for rupee what the ROI is especially for small and medium sized businesses. We recommend that employers focus on what they want improved at their company by concentrating on some goals and metrics such as fewer sick days at the office or improved productivity. We also recommend that companies start off with atleast two different types of activities such as yoga or zumba and then cut those that are not as popular.

We believe that the success of any program is determined by the metrics of participation as well as employee demand. Employers need to start thinking about the overall impact of their investment. Are you able to reduce absenteeism and improving engagement? Is your retention rate increasing? These are tangible factors that have real value to any company and contribute to the overall ROI. The CEO of a mid sized company where we were conducting regular yoga, mindfulness & meditation sessions was very happy with the increase in the mood and overall morale of the employees rather than any other metrics. That itself was and continues to be good enough for him to continue the regular yoga sessions which the employees now regularly look forward to in the midst of their hectic schedules.

Another HR head of a Hotel Chain was extremely pleased when within 6 months of our weight loss program being implemented, the company’s employees lost in total almost 200 kgs of weight! Additionally, aggregate data from the company’s insurance company indicated that employee usage was declining. She also noticed that there was an overall shift in the eating habits of her employees. Where earlier employees were eating unhealthy deep fried snacks and meals, the same employees were now opting for healthier items. This was a very good return on investment for the less than fifteen lakhs a year that the company was initially spending on employee wellness.

So while it may be hard to track absolute returns on every rupee spent, what works is a focused and informed investment that supports better employee health over the long term.

Where to Start from

Need ideas and suggestions on starting a wellness program at your company? You can start by giving us a call on +91 98206 07875 and based on our extensive experience we can suggest a bespoke program for your employees that actually works!

At a medium sized polymer manufacturing company in Navi Mumbai, we advised the management to start yoga + meditation / laughter therapy workshops to ease the stress of the mid management employees. Our wellness coach Devanshi has been tasked with the job of making the employees healthier, happier & more productive! Watch some pictures and a video below of a session in progress.

Yoga & Wellness Coach Devanshi

Wellness Companies in Mumbai
Devanshi Addresses the Employees
Office Yoga Class
Touching the Skies
Wellness Coach Devanshi
Limber up The Shoulder Joints

Wellness in Companies Mumbai
This is Fun!
Chair Yoga
This is Chair Yoga!

Meditation at Office
Some Mindfulness & Meditation


Office Yoga Companies India
Group Pic in the End!


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