During the 20th century, companies “hired” workers to do a job and then expected them to look after themselves. But in the 21st century, there’s a new understanding. Employees know that their jobs and their health relate intimately to each other. And that one has knock-on effects on the other.
Businesses are also wising up to this reality – and not just for altruistic reasons. It turns out that healthy, happy employees are also more productive and ingenious – two things that major brands want.
This knowledge is changing how companies approach people management in a fundamental way. It’s not about extracting resources and energy from workers anymore. Instead, it’s creating the conditions that will enable them to thrive (and want to stay with the company as well).
So which methods are top companies using? Let’s take a look.
Free Yoga Classes
Yoga is a kind of spiritual exercise, designed to relax the body and mind. Whether you believe in the supernatural content of the practice isn’t actually important. Western, naturalistic science shows that it can have profound benefits on health and longevity.
You can see the positive effects of yoga showing up all over the place among the elderly. Those who stick with the practice over the decades have less disease and tend to live much much longer and healthier lives.
For companies, there are benefits too. For instance, yoga classes can help employees “reset” and avoid burnout when deadlines are approaching. They can even help improve interactions between workers, enhancing the productivity of meetings.
Employers are also keenly aware that most employees want personal development to be an integral part of their careers. They don’t want to just perform the same task over and over again for years on end – they want to feel as if they’re really going somewhere.
Unfortunately, some companies can struggle to provide their workers with a clear career path. And that can lead to disengagement, apathy and retention issues.
Now, though, many top brands are including life coaching in their employee benefits plans. The aim here is to provide workers with the emotional tools to get out of a rut and pursue a happy and fulfilling career, no matter what opportunities come their way. Life coaching changes the way that they think about themselves, their career and their success for the better.
Imagine being able to take a holiday whenever you want? It seems like madness, right? However, some companies are actually experimenting with this idea.
The rationale is simple: in agrarian societies, people would have just taken a break when they needed one. They would have listened to their bodies and decided on the spot that they required rest.
That’s just not an option in the modern world. Taking a holiday requires going through HR, right?
Well, not so fast. A group of tech companies are trialling a new vacation arrangement where people can take holidays whenever they feel like it. The hope is that it will prevent burnout and increase work quality while they’re on the job.