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Are Employers Responsible for Employee Health?

Corporate Meditation Rooms

Should employees be held responsible for their employees’ health? Some say yes. Should we go so far as to include Employee Health as a line item on the annual report? Possibly.

Of course employers should support worker well-being. But should companies be held accountable for those employees who choose to smoke, booze it up (after hours, of course) or refuse to exercise or meditate. Now, that’s a slippery slope.

Open Letter: Dear CEOs,

Corporate Meditation Rooms

I’m reposting my open letter to CEOs because I want the word out. We as managers, as directors, as presidents, as chiefs, we as leaders of all types have a responsibility to not only do right by our customers but also, and possibly more importantly, to do right by our employees. Employee well-being and customer satisfaction are inextricably linked. Happy employees, happy company, happy customers. Please pass this on and embrace it yourself, as we’re all leaders in one form or another…


Dear CEOs,

If it’s true that actively disengaged workers are costing the US $550 billion (Gallup) in economic activity annually and stress is costing American businesses $300 billion per year (World Health Organization), doesn’t it follow that even if we make slight improvements in employees’ lives, the net savings or contributions to economic activity could be in the hundreds of millions, if not in the billions?

How do we do this? There’s no pill…no single solution; however, small steps add up to big changes. One small step is tweaking how we view our employees. Whole beings who have whole lives walk through the office doors each morning with whole stuff going on…stuff from home, stuff from yesterday at work…emotional stuff, mental stuff, physical stuff, spiritual stuff, social stuff (some add environmental). How can you, as a CEO, address each of these facets of health in each of your employees?

You cannot. What can you do?

A vision of hope…

While I echo the sentiments in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech of equality for all, I, too, have a dream. I have a dream for wellness…a dream for wellness at work, a dream for wellness at home, a dream for wellness in schools.

I have a dream that work is a place where people thrive, where all employees are treated equally, where they are treated as people and not things.

I have a dream for schools where teachers and children are respected equally, where teachers have time to eat lunch and time to take breaks and children can move and laugh and learn at their own pace.

Shrouded in Shame, Found My Soul

sunset in tuscanyFrom time to time, I’ll post inspirational stories. That’s what we all want anyway, isn’t it…to be inspired and for our employees to feel inspired? I hope this story inspires you as the experience inspired me.

I’m shoving my way through the priority line, of which I am not a member.  I notice a slightly rotund woman of deep color in unappealing clothes to my left and think, “She’s not in first class, so I can push through.”  The next time I notice her she is sitting two rows beyond me…in first class…where I am not.  I survey her briefly.  Straw visor…no sun in airport, not much on plane.  Large-floral print, short-sleeved blouse…not very becoming.  Shorter in stature and stout.