This Q&A with Paul Gordon, Senior Vice President of Sales at Rymax originally appeared as an independent supplement to the March 13th issue of USA Today.
What do you feel to be one of the major challenges impacting employee wellness and engagement?
The overall intention of trying to reduce health-related absenteeism, increase employee productivity and reduce high health premiums is very positive. The execution of the program needs to take into consideration all types of employees, realistic measurement criteria and the concerns about privacy of the participants.
What is one industry trend that is helping to combat the challenge you just mentioned?
Work lifestyle improvements in the office that lead to healthier employees. Gaiam balance ball chairs for back support and spinal alignment. Standing desks. Healthy snacks in the machines. Employee discounts on fitness and outdoor equipment. Flexible work hours. Don’t create a heavy handed program but rather enhancements to the work environment that produces results.
What is the biggest obstacle company’s face when trying to improve workplace wellness and employee engagement?
The biggest obstacle is overcoming the reaction most people have to being engaged in something that they feel is being forced upon them. Yes everyone will admit that they could lose a few pounds, exercise more and quit smoking, but creating what some might see as a program to meet corporate health benchmarks often has a kneejerk negative rejection. Improve the work environment and you will improve the employee wellness.
Senior Vice President, Sales
Rymax Marketing Services Inc.