Mental, emotional, physical and health issues have risen to the forefront for both business leadership and workers. We’ve learned harsh lessons during the Covid-19 outbreak. Life is short, frail and precious.
The effects of nearly two years enduring a global massive virus outbreak caused people to become depressed, dependent on drugs and alcohol. Stress and anxiety contributed to people eating too much and sitting on the couch binge watching Netflix. While many bought Peloton bikes, there were a lot of folks who led sedentary lives.
The pandemic made us think deeply about our work and lives. The ‘Great Resignation’ movement exemplifies this mindset. Workers abruptly quit their jobs when they felt that they’re not being treated or paid fairly. Now it feels like we collectively want to change our lives.
With a ‘War-for-Talent’ being waged, coupled with the ‘Great Resignation,’ businesses are confronted with desperately trying to attract, recruit, onboard and retain workers. Additionally, corporate leadership needs to help their workers cope with all the stress, anxiety, feelings of isolation, depression and other challenges brought upon by dealing with a dreaded disease.
According to the non-profit organization, Mental Health America, “19.00% of adults are experiencing a mental illness. Equivalent to over 47 million Americans,” and “4.55% are experiencing a severe mental illness.” Nearly 8% of adults in America reported having a substance use disorder in the past year, around 3% reported having an illicit drug use disorder, and about 6% said they are dealing with an alcohol disorder. Substance use disorders range from 6.34% in Texas to 13.01% in the District of Columbia.
Companies have woken up to the fact that they need to act quickly. You can’t run a successful business if your employees are hurting, suffering and left uncared for. Finding ways to help workers effectively deal with mental health issues has become a top priority.
To learn more about how corporations can vigilantly look after and help their employees with their overall health, I spoke with Nikki Salenetri, VP of People at Gympass, a leading corporate wellness provider. Her company offers business access to Gympass as a life-improving benefit to their workers.
Gympass is a business-to-business platform. This means that companies will pay for the app, which will then enable their workers to gain access to a wide array of worldwide wellness programs including gyms, studios, Yoga, and online videos that workers can attend together. Member companies can help their team explore over 600 activities across the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. Employees have over 50,000 studios globally, and more than 100 different wellness apps to choose from that will help improve their overall mental, physical and emotional health.
The human resource executive’s goal is to help foster a healthier and more engaged workforce. Current corporate clients range the gamut, including the large spanish bank Santander, management consulting firm Accenture, Unilever, KPMG and McDonalds, Google and Morgan Stanley.
Salenetri believes it’s clearer than ever before that companies need to invest in programs that support their employees. She says that improving mental health requires a 360 approach, which is why Gympass offers its corporate members access to well-known brands such as Calm, Lifesum, Barry’s,Gold’s Gym, Soulcycle, F45 and Crunch Fitness.
The investment community also believes that this space is primed for long-term growth. Gympass recently raised $220 million in a funding round led by existing investor SoftBank Group Corp, other venture capitalists and investors, raising the startup’s valuation to $2.2 billion.
Salenetri points out that in addition to the health benefits, access to wellness programs serve as a smart recruiting and retention tool. There are over 10 million open jobs, and it’s hard to fill them. Businesses are resorting to all sorts of ways to entice people to join their companies, and need to work hard to keep them.
Salenetri contends that companies who are competing to attract and retain the best talent can offer these benefits as an incentive. Providing access to online workouts, encourages camaraderie in an environment where people work virtually and contend with feelings of isolation. When employees have a tight-knit group of work-buddies, they tend to stay longer at the organizations.
Walmart, Target and Amazon are offering free college tuition. Restaurants and fast food chains are raising wages and providing sign-on bonuses. Remote and hybrid work options are being offered as surveys show employees will quit if forced to go back to an office on a nine-to-five basis, five days a week.
Cesar Carvalho, co-founder and CEO of Gympass, said, “Similar to the hybrid work model that many have adapted due to the pandemic, we’re seeing a similar trend when it comes to fitness and wellbeing.”
He added, “Now, people are mixing in-person visits to gyms and boutique studios with digital, using meditation apps, nutrition offerings, in addition to other wellness offerings on the Gympass platform. We’ve seen firsthand that this is a change that will continue into the future, and we look forward to expanding our reach and services to continue to support people’s overall well-being.”