Wellness in Action: Office Environments' New Workplace Initiative
“The workplace has changed. The future of work is to show that you truly care about your employees - not buying ping pong tables that no one uses”
– Hanna Shelley, Office Environments’ Marketing Manager and Wellness Committee Chair
Employees at Office Environments, a dealership in Birmingham AL, are embracing a company-wide wellness program initiated by two members of its team. Conversations around the initiative began in early 2020 with a meeting between designer, and INDEAL Champion, Neely Minor and INDEAL Cares’ Executive Director, Stefanie Ince, where Office Environments could learn more about the organization’s charitable effort and the resources it could provide to enhance wellness in their workplace.
INDEAL Cares was established with a vision to transform the health and well-being of individuals working in the commercial interiors industry in North America, something that sparked an interest with both Hanna and Neely, who said, “Wellness was very important to me personally, and I knew that it was something our CEO Mike Miller felt very strongly about. I thought it could be a great way to connect our team during the pandemic and wanted to learn more about what we could do to support them”.
Hanna added, “when we all went back to the office, we wanted to make sure people felt safe and connected in the workplace, and it just seemed like wellness was more important than ever before.”
Asking the Right Questions
Based on the initial meeting, INDEAL Cares developed a customized and confidential wellness survey, complete with messaging, for the Office Environments team to share with its employees.
The survey inquired about overall health and well-being, but also included questions around management and leadership training, communication preferences, benefits programming, and team building activities. Another critical element to the survey was the opportunity for individuals to identify if they wanted to participate in the soon-to-be-formed Office Environments Wellness Committee.
“The survey definitely helped with starting the program. Understanding what was most important to our employees really gave the Wellness Committee a directive for our work”, shared Hanna, who serves as Chair of the Committee. “I love that our initiatives are driven by employees and not the higher-up leadership team. We’ve structured the committee where at least one person from every office is represented so that everyone can come together to drive the longer-term strategy.”
Though the Committee was only established six months ago, they have already made incredible progress: The survey results revealed four main areas of wellness that were identified as being priorities for the team, so the Committee decided to break those out into quarters, and then within each quarter, they broke them down into smaller ‘monthly’ topics and assigned each topic to a member of the committee. “We sent out the list for each quarter and let members of the Committee choose what they were excited about,” said Hanna Shelley, Wellness Committee Chair; “that way they were excited and engaged about their area of focus.”
Wellness Activities to Drive Employee Connection
Stress was a key challenge for a lot of members of the Office Environments team, so within the topic of ‘stress’, the Committee focused on Time Management, Meditation & Relaxation, and How to Prioritize Your Day as topics within the quarter. A Meditation Challenge was launched as part of this initiative, encouraging individuals to participate by tracking their meditation minutes over a one-month period. “We offer 3 top prizes to winners, which helped to encourage people to start with the challenge – our winner did over 730 minutes of meditation in the month of September!” shared Hanna.
Office Environments’ Wellness Committee is eager to continue to provide their team with fun, engaging and inspiring topics, challenges, and reasons to come together on the team’s wellness journey. Next up for their quarterly initiatives is a “Focus on Healthy Eating”, which falls perfectly into the season of Thanksgiving and winter holidays. Topics will include food education, a recipe swap, and more!
The committee publishes a Wellness Newsletter each month (based on communications preferences identified in the survey) that includes a featured team member answering fun, random questions, as well as health tips and tricks to keep people motivated. INDEAL Cares’ Living Well Library provides a great resource for content, including healthy recipes, tips on team building activities, and information about meditation and mindfulness.
“It is going a lot better than I thought it would, considering we’ve never done something like this before,” said Hanna. When asked why she thinks their wellness initiative has been so successful, she said, “I think people are excited about being able to come together on this. It's something that our employees asked for, and the fact that every month is different means that everyone is getting something that is important to them. I think the variety and customization is really important.”
INDEAL Cares’ Stefanie Ince acknowledged how clearly aligned the team at Office Environments was with its mission. “One of the things we know to be important for a wellness program to be successful, is commitment from the top of the organization all the way down. Hearing that the leadership team at Office Environments was so invested in wellness was really encouraging, and speaking with Neely, I knew this was an initiative that really mattered to the organization as a whole.”
Office Environments is just one of the organizations who has benefitted from enhanced focus on health and wellness that INDEAL Cares is encouraging in the commercial interiors industry.
Our vision to transform the health and well-being of individuals in the industry will take many conversations, an abundance of passion, customization, and dedication to achieve, and we are eager to continue to guide organizations and leaders as they redevelop their wellness plans moving forward.
If you’re interested in inviting INDEAL Cares to help your organization, take the next step by reaching out to Stefanie Ince, Executive Director, today.