Apples, hula hoops and massages – employees deserve to feel great!

December 7, 2018 Stella O'neill

Cornerstone's staff participating in various of exercises

For the last 12 months, Cornerstone OnDemand has really been ramping up it’s focus on health & wellbeing. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve always had a big focus on our employee wellbeing, with onsite massages, free fruit and healthy snacks, ping pong tournaments and various health-related benefits, but when it comes to our culture of ‘work hard, play hard’, we have to ensure that our people are in the best shape physically and mentally to live up to that!

Based on ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’ developed by the New Economics Foundation (Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give), we introduced the concept of quarterly challenges, all designed to be fun, inclusive and able to fit into a busy schedule. We’ve run some really engaging activities involving planking, walking, photography and healthy lifestyles – all fun ways to improve our wellbeing as well as foster regional and inter-departmental competition! We’ve also run nutrition workshops, and provided some basic exercise equipment for people to use in the office – Pilates balls, resistance bands, weights, foam rollers, hula hoops etc. More recently we ran a ‘Learning on the Loo’ series featuring the 10 Steps to Resilience from the book by Liggy Webb; in fact, people were so inspired by their restroom readings that Liggy was invited to be a guest speaker at our company conference this year!

Our main aim is to raise awareness around physical and mental health, in the hope that it will spark inspiration for employees to do more for themselves. Remote teams, lack of time and limited budget are challenges faced in many workplaces when it comes to engaging employees in wellbeing activities, but with a little creativity and a whole lot of enthusiasm, it’s possible to create a programme that everyone can join in. Our EMEA Walking Challenge, for example, saw participation from almost 1/3 of our EMEA workforce; people were shunning the tube and lunchtime walks were suddenly de rigeur!

Support has been great from our Leadership team and colleagues in the US. We were lucky enough recently to have the Sports and Fitness Coach from our Santa Monica office visit recently and run a class on exercise routines you can fit into your working schedule – 10 minutes away from your desk to do a few lunges will refresh and re-focus you as well as improve fitness. As her visit coincided with a global Walking Challenge, she motivated us to take a chilly, 5km team walk along the Thames (aka a free sightseeing tour for her!!). As an added bonus, she is also willing to hold private coaching sessions around personal fitness goals via WebEx.

Want to create a wellbeing program in your organisation with almost no budget and a lot of creativity? Thinking about where to start? Follow these 4 easy steps!

  1. Speak to your employees: as an HR professional, I love sharing ideas with my peers. Therefore, before we implemented our own program we spoke to our employees to understand what matters to them. An easy way is to conduct a survey!
  2. Find the budget: we know this is a difficult one. Not every organisation has a Fitness Coach in house. But on the other hand, with very little you can do a lot! We spent £20 on a dozen hula hoops for our challenge. We still have them in the office, so we make sure we use them for other fitness activities. The plank challenge is free! Just find a safe area in the office and start counting down the minutes.
  3. Give recognition: a challenge is great but we all want to be showcased when we perform well. A series of very simple emails once a month sharing the highlights of the challenge with pics and stats motivates the crowd! If you have a notice board in the office, print the pictures and pin them there.
  4. Make it fun: let your employees shine! Internal emails are great. But why not partner with your marketing team and give them a shout on social media? Your employer brand will benefit and you employees will follow your accounts to find out more about how the wellness challenges are doing in other offices.

Nowadays, health & wellbeing aren’t optional extras in the workplace; not only are companies recognising that investing in these at work can lead to greater resilience, innovation and productivity but the smarter ones are using it to help define culture and ensure that it is an integral part of the employee experience. Nothing feels better than to be part of a business that you believe truly cares about your welfare.


About the Author

Stella O'neill

Stella O’Neill is a Talent Specialist dedicated to making an impact on employee experience through inquiry, innovation and a high standard of customer service. Stella is passionate about harnessing the best from digital & social learning and has wide experience of project management in the L&D space, learning strategies, employee engagement and digital initiatives.

Follow on Linkedin More Content by Stella O'neill
Previous Article
Is it the most wonderful time of the year in the office?
Is it the most wonderful time of the year in the office?

Colourful twinkling fairy lights across desks, piles of gingerbread and festive songs blasting through the ...

Next Article
Resilience through change — Liggy Webb
Resilience through change — Liggy Webb

At this year’s Convergence, we had the pleasure of welcoming best-selling author and international consulta...