There may be a very simple solution to all of your company’s woes. Yoga and meditation are two tools that are being used by several companies who are finding that it not just helps the well-being of employees, but also the bottom line.
Biotech company Promega Corp. is one such company that offers yoga and meditation classes, and access to fitness centers to their employees. They also fill their workplace with natural life and provide healthy lunches.
“You create a culture of wellness,” Ashley G. Anderson Jr., the chief medical officer for Promega, told the Huffington Post. If you create a culture in which vibrant physicality is an admired thing, you’ve achieved a lot. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce.”
Yoga and meditation are known to reduce both mental and physical stress, especially to those confined to desks all day. These practices help lower healthcare costs, will result in less employee absences, boost morale and may even decrease employee turnover.
“When people go home and they have had a stressful day, that influences the family,” said Bill Linton, the founder and CEO of Promega. “The dog gets kicked. It has an effect in the community. That’s not a good outcome.”
For Linton, providing these services to his employees wasn’t all about making more money. Not everything, he says, should be about the bottom line.
“That’s a byproduct of what the purpose is,” he said. “When everything’s all about the bottom line, that creates stress.”
Part of his managerial theories come from his idea that a job and the company you build should be contributing to the community it is part of.
“Work should be much more than a job,” Linton said. “It should be meaningful for those who work at a company and help them develop as people.”
Linton has a lot of views about running a business that many executives don’t share with him. For many, work is about returning value to shareholders. For Linton it is more about creating a system in which shareholders, executives and employees share the same values and interests. He also doesn’t place cash flow as his top priority — Linton says cash flow is pointless unless you are doing something productive with it.
And, while a few Wall Street executives might not understand Linton’s devotion to making sure employees are happy, his workers are certainly benefiting, and so his is company.
“People are more engaged,” said Promega employee Sharon Sheridan. “There’s a general sense of positivity here. I absolutely do think it helps the bottom line. When people are more engaged, they’re more collaborative.”
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