Improving Work-life Balance, Mental Health & Reducing Employee Burnout - A Case Study

HEAL recently teamed up with the folks at Agrifoods, a Vancouver-based consumer packaged foods cooperative to run an 8-week Wellness Challenge with their employees. Agrifoods partnered with us, a leading corporate wellness company, to proactively address the growing mental health challenges of their employees during the pandemic, particularly stress, anxiety, and depression. This article outlines how we helped them improve work-life balance, mental health and reduced employee burnout.

The Challenge and Goals

Over the last few years, we’ve worked with Agrifoods to run a Wellness Challenge with a balance of nutrition, mental health, and movement-based challenges. When they surveyed their employees late in 2020, like many companies trying to navigate the pandemic, they found that employees were overwhelmingly looking for support with their mental health, reducing burnout, and improving their work-life balance.

With their entire team, including their HR facilitators, experiencing an uptick in responsibilities due to the overwhelming demand for consumer packaged goods at the time, it was important to also launch and facilitate the program without adding to the workload of their staff. Lastly, they wanted to use the program as a team-building opportunity for their partially virtual workplace.

The Solution HEAL Provided to Improve Work-life Balance, Mental Health & Reduce Employee Burnout

We put together a custom 8-week Wellness Challenge that focused on resilience, improving mindset and mood, stress management practices, and making time for oneself. Like all of our challenges, we also included challenges to improve energy, quality of sleep, get employees to move more, get outside, and make healthier food choices, all of which we know make a significant impact on mental health. Not wanting to overwhelm employees with too many tasks, we focused on small, research-backed actions that make the biggest impact.

Employees then had an opportunity to win weekly prizes either on their own or as part of a team, for completing their daily challenges. The team component is one of the defining characteristics of our challenges, as it promotes team-building, engagement and fosters a positive workplace culture, especially during remote work.

In addition to this, we provided 8-weeks of custom meal plans, workout videos, and access to nutritionists via email, all of which were optional but there for employees looking for the added support.

Like in all of our programs, the Wellness Challenge was turnkey for the HR manager. We supplied her with the promotional resources and schedule, facilitated registration, and announced and distributed prizes to the winners. Many organizations want to be able to facilitate wellness programs for their staff but simply don’t have the capacity to do so. We leverage our 6+ years of experience running successful corporate wellness programs in order to ensure a smooth and successful program without any extra work on the part of our clients.

The Wellness Challenge Results

The main objectives of the challenge were to reduce stress and burnout and improve work-life balance. At the end of the 8 weeks, surveyed participants said:

Challenge survey results - 84% felt they could better handle covid stressors, 85% felt better able to enjoy life outside work, 89% felt they had better boundaries around work, 89% felt better able to manage stress and felt happier, 83% were more active, spent more time outdoors, and slept better, and 100% felt the company cares about their health and well-being.

Here are some additional highlights from participants:

“I didn’t think I’d like this one as much as the one from last year (focus on physical health), but I found this one to be perfect. It was a mix of everything I needed, especially as I’m returning to work from mat leave and trying to juggle work, family, and home. it forced me to take small bits of time for myself to get outside, move my body, connect with friends and relax. As a mom, you forget to make yourself a priority so I really appreciated this challenge. I just wish it went for a year!
“These challenges were great.  It motivated and forced me to take those breaks and focus on the benefits of doing the challenges.  It's nice in a Team because we have each other to push us further.  As a team, we decided to keep connecting once a week as then we can talk about things outside of work.”
"I really enjoyed the challenges & being part of a team. We started having a weekly chat together & we will continue to do that. It is a great way to support each other & connect. The meditation challenges were very helpful & getting more fresh air, motivated me to go for more walks."
"The challenges were great, you covered everything that was relevant and important to me and most of my team I’m sure! It created a bonding environment as well as a motivating factor to get outside, to better ourselves, to put down our devices more often. Well done."

If you’d like to discuss the ways in which we can help you create and facilitate a workplace wellness program aimed at improving your employees’ mental health, and reducing stress and burnout, in order to improve employee engagement, productivity, and retention, please email us here to speak with our team.

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