You’ve probably heard those two little buzz words here and there lately. Most likely associated with some trendy startup that you’re reading about in San Fran, or in a conversation around the watercooler (or beer cooler, depending on whether you work at a startup or not). Whatever context you’ve heard it in, it’s something many smart people are starting to talk about, and for good reason.
For those of you who don’t know, corporate fitness is a phrase that is used to describe fitness and health programs implemented by an employer for their employees.
If you’re an employer, this blog is specifically directed at you. And no, walking three times a day to the vending machine doesn’t count as a fitness program. . . they already do that.
Let me hit you with some facts.
Keep in mind you’re the one providing healthcare to your wonderful employees
The total cost of obesity to U.S. employers is $13 billion dollars per year
Job stress, something that can be managed by fitness programs, is estimated to cost around 300 billion dollars a year through tardiness, sick days, and decreased productivity.
70% of all illnesses are considered preventable through exercise and proper nutrition.
Know that you’ve been a little educated, here are three reasons why “incorporating” corporate fitness (pun intended) into your business is the best idea ever!
1. It’s a lucrative investment
Research indicates that the average ROI of a incorporating wellness programs is about about 3:1 over a 36-month period. This means that for every $1 invested in fitness programs the average employer can expect to save about a $3 on healthcare and around $3 on tardiness and absenteeism. However, like I mentioned above, a fitness program is not walking to the vending machine three times a day. To get this ROI, a company has to work toward a culture shift within their business. Encouraging a lifestyle change within your employees is what you want. Doing this well looks something like having a gym onsite, making work hours more flexible for your employees to be able to use it, and hiring a personal trainer dedicated to your employees progress (ahem). These are the kind of programs it takes to save money in the long run, not filling out a health survey once a month.
2. It will strengthen your team
Common sense, as well as many recent studies, show that when an employee isn’t feeling physically or emotionally well, their productivity and motivation declines. Think of an employee that drudges to work every morning barely awake vs an employee that exercises before work. The latter has the benefits of the natural happy endorphins released while exercising . The result is an employee that has more energy, a better attitude, and who is ready to jump right into work rather than crawl in late because they were getting their doubleshot espresso mocha.
Fitness programs don’t just benefit the individual within your company, they impact the team for the better too. The camaraderie and mutual encouragement brought about in a good group fitness class is like nothing else in the way of creating a unified team mentality. When employees are sweating and pushing themselves to the limit together, they naturally reach out in encouragement toward each other. It’s an awesome thing to see and that attitude naturally spills over into the workplace. Implement group fitness and you’ll find you have employees a lot more willing to work together to achieve an end goal.
3. You’re taking care of your employees.
You’re not just doing the bare minimum here. Instituting corporate fitness programs into your business is something that is directly benefiting the people that sacrifice sleep, recreational hours, creative energy and sometimes even salary cuts for the betterment of the company. These people make the magic happen! Is it really enough to give them a 10% off gym membership that is 30 minutes away from their house? No sir, these people deserve the best you can do. When it comes down to it, it’s not even enough to get them a complete membership to that gym.
Let’s face it, people aren’t intrinsically motivated to work out. Let’s imagine that somehow they could muster the motivation to go out of their way to the gym after having slaved away for hours on their shift under the grueling pressure to perform amazingly; how could they have had time to research proper workout moves and form needed for them to get a holistic workout experience? Out of all of all of the high expectations placed on modern employees, maintaining an excellent fitness level while simultaneously juggling every other demanding aspect of their life and work should not be one of them. Besides, showing your employees you care about them will enable them to care much more about you and the work they’re doing.
I could list more statistics for you but instead I encourage all companies out there to consider their employees as more than numbers on a screen. In light of all that they do, the real question is not how much money it will save you, but why not give them the best? If you want to bring corporate fitness to your workplace, email me at matt@ mattaveryhart.com.
Until next time, happy Monday my friends, get out there and work your base off!