May 19, 2020

Keeping your team healthy: What the benefits are

employee benefits
Healthy lifestyle
Bizclik Editor
4 min
Keeping your team healthy: What the benefits are

Health and wellness programs are the latest trend in benefits offered by companies. Popular among large companies and those within the health industries, incentives for keeping employees healthy are extending into other industries as well.<br />
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Wellness entails more than ergonomics and safety on the job; it includes employee satisfaction and morale. Employee satisfaction increases with training and development, communication, recognition, and access to the resources to help an employee cope with stress in and out of the workplace. This is especially true for high-stress management positions, where decision-making rests on the shoulders of a few managers.<br />
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Wellness programs benefit the company in several ways. First, they ensure that employees are healthy, which translates to fewer sick days and less time off to see the doctor. Second, they increase productivity of the employees and help them manage stress. Finally, wellness programs may reduce health insurance costs for the employer and employee. Though some businesses may shy away from wellness programs due to initial costs, they end up saving money in the long run.<br />
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<strong>COPING WITH STRESS </strong><br />
In stressful industries or positions, a company may focus on stress management to help their employees deal with stress in the workplace and at home in order to maintain productivity and job satisfaction. Many companies survey their employees to assess satisfaction with the company and discover points of stress in their lives, both on and off the job. With this information, the company can direct the employee to a program that teaches them to cope with their stress more effectively.<br />
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Health centers around the country specialize in providing comprehensive physical and lifestyle exams to executives and managers to assess their health and spot diseases in their early, most treatable stages. Innovative technology is used to diagnose and screen the body for abnormalities and disease, evaluate lifestyle and provide tools to maintain health over the long&nbsp; term. Since all of the specialists are located in a single location, the complete testing takes place over the course of a day. Comprehensive testing helps executives, managers, and administrators achieve and maintain optimal health.<br />
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<strong>INCENTIVES FOR WELLNESS</strong><br />
Companies encourage healthy behavior by offering programs that run the gamut from helping employees stop smoking to providing support for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Others encourage employees to exercise, lose weight, make healthy food choices, or seek pre-natal care. For many executives and managers the question remains: how do companies get their employees to participate in these programs?<br />
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Some companies offer rebates and free t-shirts; others offer gift certificates and days off. Often based on a point system, employees accrue a specific number of points every time they visit a gym, walk during their lunch hour, or do not smoke for a year. Companies have also found that allowing employees to participate in an exercise program during work hours is an effective way to reach those employees who are unmotivated before or after work or have other commitments during these time frames.<br />
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Businesses also team up with local gyms or gym chains to offer discounted memberships, waived initiation fees, or other perks to employees. Though many office buildings have a gym onsite, open to all employees who work in the building, some companies including <a href="">Adidas </a>and Reliant Pharmaceuticals have their own gym facilities located onsite as well. By encouraging the use of convenient gym facilities, a business can reap the benefits of a healthy team.<br />
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There is debate as to whether incentive programs are effective. Those opposed contend employees should not receive compensation for improving their health. Though many businesses see merit in using an incentive-based wellness program, they may not implement it until employee participation in the program has reduced.<br />
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Even without incentives set in place by management, employees often take it upon themselves to exercise before or after work. Either through co-ed sports teams or having a buddy to work out with after work, employees who exercise together keep each other motivated and maintain a healthy lifestyle long term.<br />
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&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve found in my own workplace that the more people who are involved in an exercise program, the more fun it becomes. You want to exercise more and look forward to sharing your results with others,&rdquo; stated Candace Couture, Director of Franchise Admissions for the health club <a href="//">Planet Fitness</a>.<br />
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No one can debate the merits of a healthy lifestyle. Those who exercise, eat right, and lead a healthy lifestyle have more energy and are more productive than their sedentary counterparts. Healthy employees who can effectively manage their stress benefit the company through cost savings and fewer sick days. By encouraging healthy behavior, either through an established wellness program or other incentives, a company can foster a more productive work force.<br />
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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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