I recently read a Linked-In post that my VP of Engineering recommended to me titled 6 Ways to Save Your Life -- and Your Company. It was a really interesting read that got me thinking about a lot of things (including my own mortality) but also what it takes to build a company that has long term sustainability. And how do you do that in today’s volatile business environment when companies like ISI are going out of business every day?
Certainly managing ISI’s finances are a day-to-day challenge (just like it is for any business) and no doubt made even more difficult in today’s hyper competitive professional AV/videoconferencing marketplace. But are there other aspects of the business that also need to be addressed to maintain sustainability? Is it good enough for the company to be just financially healthy? What about the health of your employees as well? And shouldn’t that include not just their physical health but mental as well?
Seems like common sense to look into these kind of issues but why do so few of us actually do it? Why do we let so many of our employees drag on with an unhealthy lifestyle, worn down by repetitive tasks and become burned out, pre-diabetic shadows of their former selves? I know just the thought of this happening at ISI bothered me so I really looked at what we could do about it in the future.
I know I don’t want ISI to contribute to any employees health problems- now or in the future. Period. And I know I certainly need the help of every ISI employee to be successful it in the future. So what strategies did I pick up after reading this article that could help ISI to become a more sustainable business in the future? What are the six areas we need to look at to have ISI employees healthier and happier in the future?
1) Sitting Disease - Sedentary lifestyles are the #1 cause for heart disease and diabetes. Movement is health so we’ll be looking at incentives for employees to take up walking at lunchtime and encourage “walking” meetings with our staff to avoid constantly sitting at their desks.
2) Quiet Time - Employees who get the chance to regroup and reflect are more productive over the long haul (creativity, focus etc.) Simply getting 20-30 minutes a day to clear an employee’s head makes sense to me so ISI is going to support the-is initiative as a part of each employee’s daily regime.
3) Snacking to Health - Many of the soft drinks, snack foods, candy bars, donuts etc. that are currently available in the ISI break room are loaded with calories, fat, sugar, etc. which are convenient but certainly not good for the waistline. In the future, we will be offering healthier options for employees including more fruit, nuts, water, etc. We can’t preach good health if we aren’t practicing it as well.
Not this extreme but you get the idea
4) Core Strength in the Conference Room - The local YMCA has many options for helping employees with physical fitness and personal training so ISI will be looking at offering discounted memberships to employees. We certainly can’t force people to get physical exercise but we can let them know we are supportive of their interest in achieving a healthier lifestyle.
5) Flexible Work Schedules - ISI will continue to support our telecommuting strategy in place for our design engineers, procurement staff, etc. to work from home in order to help with family needs, logistics etc. Very proud that this strategy has been working successfully for over a year now so we will be continuing a successful strategy.
6) Change, Or You Will Lose - A final thought that closed out the article which really stuck with me and I think it’s true. ISI won't be able to hire and recruit the best talent in the future unless they believe they'll get healthier by working with us.