Every company struggles to prioritize their annual spending, always with an eye toward return on investment. Trying to determine when the right time to add wellness initiatives to your budget can be challenging.
There are enough studies and statistics proving that a wellness program can reduce absenteeism and turnover while improving work life balance. For many organizations, it’s not a question of if you will implement a program, but when. We struggled with exactly these same issues as we’ve grown MainSpring over the past 22 years.
We began our program about seven years ago as an outcome from my own personal journey. In June of 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I immediately had surgery and then began the arduous process of eight rounds of chemotherapy followed by 35 trips to the radiation center. I was tired, achy and bald for the first time since birth!
Despite my husband’s complaints, I came to the office most days throughout my almost eight- month ordeal. I was often asked why I just didn’t just take advantage of our disability insurance and my answer was always the same—coming to the office and being around coworkers who cared about me kept me sane during the most insane chapter of my life.
I felt firsthand the healing powers of surrounding myself with coworkers who were supportive and caring, along with that same support from family and friends. I made it through the process and have been cancer free for the past seven years.
Our firm’s wellness program was born from this experience because our management was intent on building a culture that places our employees and their needs FIRST. Employees who feel supported and are healthy in body and mind will be loyal and dedicated not only to their employer and colleagues, but to their clients as well.
This year we built an entire program around the issues that are important to MainSpring, entitled Make it Count. The idea was simple. Build on what we’ve done and take it up a notch. The mission is to inspire others to be well, give back and connect.
We have a budget, hold regular meetings and have identified a common cause for everyone to rally behind. As a result of a firm-wide survey, we selected the American Cancer Society as the primary benefactor for our initiatives this year. We’ve encouraged our employees across seven states to rally behind Relay for Life, and agreed to institute a new donation-match program for those who can’t join in person.
If you’re like many of us that have been touched or affected by cancer and would like to join us to honor those who battle it every day, check out our team page. You’re also welcome to join us for the six-hour event on Friday, June 12, in Western Howard County at Western Regional Park in Woodbine, Md., or if you’re unable to, help us hit our goal to raise $2,500.
My closing message is this: you don’t have to be a large company, have a big budget or employees solely dedicated to your wellness initiative. Gather a few volunteers and let their creative juices flow!