For this client, typical of many others we have worked with, work and productivity were traditionally prioritized over health and happiness. The organizations’ leadership had begun to notice a trend among valued employees to sacrifice personal wellbeing for work achievements. This trend merged with another, an apparent ’addiction’ to technology among employees who would escape into smartphones, tablets, and computers at all hours, potentially leading to high levels of stress, and disengagement with their work. The company’s core concern was that surveys had indicated that anyone attempting to work outside of this established organizational norm was unlikely to feel like a valued part of the company and was less likely to be successful within the business framework. Global time zones and work hours/shifts only contributed to and compounded the problem. The change strategy required a well-being strategy review and the development of a fresh wellbeing vision that aligned with the company’s new mission and goals, to incorporate wellbeing into their success story.

Employees typically self-described as feeling ‘tired’ and reported lacking the required energy, stamina and mental capacity to complete work optimally. There were indications of biometric risk factors, including increasing obesity. Employees were not aware of and lacked knowledge about how to adopt healthy habits. We found that none of this client’s locations were set up to allow for exercise during the day and some even lacked natural sunlight, further compounding physical and emotional issues. Exercise was not part of any planned workday and, as a result, most employees did not exercise at even the most basic levels. Many employees struggled silently with weight problems, especially in the factories where there was also a general lack of knowledge about healthy food choices and the cost of not eating well. Generally, only unhealthy food options were available from vending machines, as well as unhealthy catered meals for meetings and staff training sessions.

Change Craft took on the challenge to assist with the implementation of the new wellness strategy and, over the next four years, we helped the company implement these changes, finally wrapping up this comprehensive and thoroughgoing project in July 2019.

We created a scorecard based on organizational vision and business outcomes and derived specifically from the behavioral change expectations encapsulated in the new wellbeing vision and strategy. In addition to this we helped to set clear and deliverable goals for wellbeing strategy rollout – with steps aligned towards the vision set out in the wellbeing strategy document, this also included establishing and chairing a global wellness committee for this large manufacturing organization. As chair of the committee, we helped the company establish roles and responsibilities within the wellbeing framework suited to individual personalities and strengths. We hosted and attended monthly meetings to track progress, quarterly in-person and virtually in between.

Other parts of this challenging and far-reaching intervention included:

  • Running Change Agent training for 75 volunteers in the US, Mexico and the UAE.
  • Launching ‘frictionless’ tracking solutions for health, happiness, and financial wellbeing – frictionless means solutions that required little or no additional effort from employees to use, making them easy to implement.
  • Drafting content for and hosting monthly wellness webinars broadcast globally.
  • Providing monthly training updates for Change Agents to maintain engagement and troubleshoot challenges.
  • Designing and launching bi-monthly wellness initiatives, including – but not limited to – challenges and training relating to movement, exercise, mindful eating, gratitude, and financial wellness.
  • Sourcing, implementing and coordinating fitness testing in multiple US locations, with interpreted feedback and guidance on strategic implications.
  • Collaborating with the Mexican on-site occupational health clinic to roll out multiyear fitness and biometric testing and tracking.
    Designing and sending surveys for office, factory and remote workers (mostly sales staff).
  • Designing and implementing tailored wellbeing programs for office, factory, and remote workers.
  • Recommending changes to physical spaces based on onsite visits to support the adoption of wellness habits.
  • Running train-the-trainer education for the company’s internal staff so that in July 2019 they were able to take over running the program without our involvement.

One of the challenges here was the limited access we had to this clients’ HR data which they remained quite protective of for the duration of the project. We had little insight into the actual extent of the change initiatives we crafted with their in-house team. Instead, we realigned our feedback to draw on feedback from the wellness committee, who were operational representatives of the business. We found that the feedback, not only from HR, remained positive throughout and the company which continues to engage actively with its wellbeing strategy to this day.