In a world increasingly dominated by digital connections, the quest for genuine workplace wellbeing has never been more pertinent. This is the world in which Asset Panda, a forward-thinking asset management company, found itself at a crossroads in 2020. Transitioning to a fully remote workforce, they faced the daunting task of nurturing employee wellness in an environment where physical office spaces no longer existed. The challenge was not just to adapt, but to thrive.
It was here that Asset Panda’s journey took a turn towards innovation. Recognizing the unique challenges posed by remote work, they partnered with MindGoal, a company specializing in crafting bespoke wellbeing programs. Together, they embarked on a mission to create a virtual environment that not only supported, but also enhanced, the wellbeing of every employee.
Join us as we explore Asset Panda’s journey and discover the strategies MindGoal helped create within their company to promote employee wellness and engagement. Along the way, we give a few tips on how you can start developing effective workplace wellbeing initiatives for your employees.
Tip #1: Define What Wellbeing Means to Your Company
When it comes to promoting wellness in the workplace, one size does not fit all. While wellbeing can be defined as the ability of individuals to handle everyday stressors, work productively, and reach their full potential, how that manifests in your company is specific to the workplace environment. For any wellness initiative to be successful, we must first have a clear picture of what wellness and well-being in the workplace looks like to the organization we’re working with.
We begin by examining company values and identifying which aligns most with promoting a positive and healthy work environment. For Asset Panda, celebrating entrepreneurial spirit, passion, dependability, teamwork, honesty, intelligence, creativity, accountability, and open communication all help to foster a thriving workplace culture. By promoting these values in the wellness strategies we implement, we not only improve well-being at an individual level, but we also improve the health of interpersonal relationships, as well.
Tip #2: Get Employee Input During Planning
When planning workplace wellbeing initiatives, involving employees in the process is crucial. Not only does it show that you value their input, but it also ensures that the program aligns with their needs and interests. Studies have shown that well-being initiatives that have employee buy-in are more successful in the long run.
MindGoal helps Asset Panda gather employee input through short and frequent surveys. By sending out surveys with three questions or fewer bi-weekly, employees are more likely to participate than if they were longer and sent out less often. Additionally, the surveys also include questions to gauge enthusiasm for different types of activities that promote workplace well-being, such as art, cooking, or gardening. This way, Asset Panda can tailor the program to what the employees want and make it more meaningful for them. By involving employees in the planning process of workplace well-being initiatives, you can create a program that benefits them and has a higher chance of success.
Tip #3: Encourage Participation with Incentives
Planning tailored workplace wellness initiatives is just the start; to ensure their success, employees need to participate. Unfortunately, motivating individuals to participate in the program can be challenging, and low participation rates can lead to a lack of impact on overall employee health and productivity. One way to overcome this challenge is by offering incentives for participation. Health and wellness professionals have reported that linking participation to rewards is a great way to motivate individuals to participate in the program. After all, who doesn’t like free things?
At Asset Panda, we have found that offering incentives such as gym membership discounts, cash, gift cards, or points redeemable for prizes is effective in boosting participation. We also offer branded t-shirts, gift cards, and custom trophies for challenges and content-sharing opportunities to keep employees motivated and engaged. These incentives not only help employees stay on track with their goals but also foster a sense of community and competition among them.
Which Workplace Wellness Initiatives Worked for Us?
When it comes to the workplace, taking care of employee well-being is not only the right thing to do, but it also leads to a more productive and engaged workforce. With that in mind, there have been several initiatives we’ve implemented at Asset Panda that have made a positive impact.
One of the workplace wellness initiatives we’ve helped Asset Panda implement that has proven to be a hit among employees is the implementation of Gratitude Lists. Each month, employees are encouraged to share five things they’re grateful for in the #MindGoal slack channel. This small exercise not only encourages employees to take a moment to appreciate the good in their lives, but by asking them to share their lists, we can facilitate positive community-building (and learn a little bit more about one another along the way).
MindGoal put on a virtual desktop gardening class for any Asset Pandas who wanted to participate. Studies have shown that indoor plants offer several benefits for human health and wellbeing including reducing stress, increasing focus and productivity, improving air quality, and increasing indoor humidity (something anyone with respiratory issues can tell you is a huge help). Plus, they add a little beauty and visual interest to any workspace.
Monthly Peloton Challenge
One employee benefit at Asset Panda is a Peloton membership! This means employees can access Peloton’s extensive library of fitness classes, so MindGoal decided to take advantage of this benefit by challenging employees to take two meditation or yoga classes per week for a month. Not only will participants win prizes throughout the month, but they’ll also get a chance to take some time for themselves to relax and unwind.
It’s not always easy for managers of remote teams to know when one of their employees is feeling disheartened or overwhelmed. To help address this issue at Asset Panda, MindGoal began sending out weekly wellness check-ins. This check-in is a simple, one-question survey asking employees how they’re feeling that week. Responses are shared with their managers, so if someone reports that they feel discouraged, their manager has an opportunity to intervene and learn what support is needed.
A persistent problem in remote and hybrid teams is a lack of familiarity and camaraderie. Oftentimes, it feels like you don’t know who you’re working with, and that can make team members feel isolated and unsupported. To remedy that, MindGoal has created Employee Spotlights at Asset Panda. Each spotlight focuses on a different employee, sharing information about their interests, achievements, and family (including pets, of course), giving coworkers a chance to learn about a person beyond what their role is at the company.
Sometimes, letting loose and having a little fun is just what the doctor ordered. For virtual teams, this can be a bit challenging with everyone in different places and time zones. You have to set dedicated time aside – something Asset Panda does once a month with the help of MindGoal. Some of the most popular events have been the Game Show Extravaganza and At-Home Scavenger Hunt.
Finally, we wanted to emphasize that workplace wellbeing initiatives don’t always need to be large events or month-long challenges. You can and should be promoting employee health and wellbeing daily. To help Asset Panda employees keep wellness top of mind, MindGoal has made a point of highlighting it in many of the daily prompts we share on Slack to encourage engagement and conversation around the topic.
What Can MindGoal Do For Your Company?
In today’s remote work environment, it’s easy for employees to feel disconnected from their colleagues and the company’s culture as a whole. That’s why it’s essential to make a conscious effort to create an environment that not only focuses on completing tasks but also on promoting employee wellbeing and connection.
At MindGoal, we understand that employee wellbeing goes beyond physical health and includes emotional and mental wellbeing as well. That’s why we make sure to incorporate initiatives that invoke positive feelings and build strong interpersonal connections into employees’ daily work. By fostering a sense of community and positivity through initiatives such as Gratitude Lists and Wellness Bingo, we’re able to create an enduring environment at Asset Panda where employees feel valued and supported.
Of course, the ways wellness manifests itself at Asset Panda will be different than how it looks in other companies. To learn how MindGoal can help you build a positive company culture, reach out today for a free consultation!