Making Canada's businesses and employees even healthier
When it comes to the healthy lifestyles and even healthier employees, businesses across Canada are promoting workplace wellness.
Whether it's through office health and wellness programs or healthy living newsletters, businesses are doing all they can to make sure their employees lead a healthy lifestyle.
Here are just a few ways businesses in Canada are encouraging employee health:
Healthiest Employers in Canada
Canadian employers know just how important it is to keep their employees healthy.
As result, many companies across Canada are providing health incentives to their employees to ensure workplace well-being.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada - As one of the largest automobile manufacturers in Canada, Toyota has thousands of employees. To promote health among its workforce, Toyota of Canada offers flexible health plans that extend into retirement. Likewise, the car manufacturer also offers employees healthy eating options in its cafeteria as well as an onsite fitness facility complete with free weights, cardio equipment, tennis courts, and basketball courts.
Nature's Path Foods - It's no surprise that a health food company encourages employee health. Nature's Path Foods not only has an organic vegetable garden onsite for all employees to enjoy, the company also gives employees impressive discounts on all of its health food products.
Nuance Communications - Montreal-based Nuance Communications offers its employees an annual wellness account as part of their healthcare coverage plans. The wellness account gives employees $500 to put toward personal health and well-being, such as gym memberships.
Along with the examples above, there are many other ways to promote health in the workplace.
Healthy Snack Options
Office vending machines are synonymous with sugary, salty, unhealthy snacks, but not anymore.
As the following article looks at, in a Q&A with Healthy Cravings Program Director, Al Manning, Manning mentions the importance of promoting snacking options that are good for employees.
Healthy vending machines that feature nuts, dried fruits, and other high-protein options are the perfect way to encourage healthy eating in the workplace.
These vending machines give employees an energy boost that results in increased productivity.
Lunch breaks are one thing, but businesses in Canada can take health a step further by giving employees a little time to exercise.
Offering frequent exercise breaks alongside standard lunch breaks gives employees the opportunity to stretch their legs and raise their heart rates, which can help create a healthier work environment.
Onsite Health Visits
Although many Canadian companies offer healthcare coverage to employees, sometimes there just isn't enough time in the workweek to make a visit to the doctor's office for a checkup. That's why a growing number of businesses are providing onsite health visits.
These health visits offer general health checkups as well as annual shots to employees while at the office. They can be completed during lunch breaks or any time during the workday. This gives employees more free time during the workweek, which is beneficial to general wellbeing.
Thanks to some healthy initiatives, businesses across Canada are promoting a healthier workforce.
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About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health and workplace wellness.
Marketing matters: from IBM to 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.