Before Wellable, I worked for a large company of over 30,000 employees. One of the best days of the year was not a day at work, but our community service day. All 30,000 employees and summer interns were required to commit one day a year to community service. Employees could choose from a long list of community service options spread across the summer months. All service events were coordinated and vetted by our employer. Options ranged from picking up trash along the Hudson River to putting a fresh coat of paint on a local elementary school’s classroom walls. The commitment was a full day’s work, and if we were lucky we didn’t have to return the office to put in a few hours at night (though we usually weren’t lucky).
I looked forward to our community service day for two reasons – it was an opportunity to help others and it was a chance to bond with my team outside of work. Our team bonded while struggling to weed a tomato farm in 90-degree heat and built camaraderie while organizing an elementary school’s summer carnival. We returned from each service day mentally refreshed and ready to tackle challenges at work.
I imagine that many companies have similar community service programs, but how many firms have a required wellness day? Companies will encourage wellness events like the JPM Corporate Challenge or team softball, but few firms require that all employees participate in one team-based wellness event each year. A wellness day is a great way to build a culture of health and wellness and reinvest in employees. Like a community service day, a wellness day is an opportunity for employees to interact across divisions, build new relationships, and strengthen friendships outside of the normal work setting.
Even if a company can’t commit to a required wellness day, there are still ways to use to wellness to strengthen the company culture. A corporate wellness program should be used as an opportunity to foster teamwork and build employee camaraderie. When designing wellness programs, Wellable often structures small team-based wellness competitions. Team competitions drive higher employee engagement and more effective wellness behavior change, while also providing an opportunity for cross division interaction.