New initiatives for (Mental) Health and Happiness at imc
Because if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything
The Roman poet Juvenal had it right with “mens sana in corpore sano", a proverb commonly translated as “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. In other words: our mental wellbeing and physical health are closely intertwined. And these days, both are sorely tested as we strive to reconcile the chaos and competing demands of our professional and personal lives. Increasingly, stress and overload seem to be baked in, and our health is the poorer for it.
Here at imc, we believe this needs to change. As part of our transition to hybrid working, we decided we wanted to offer support to all employees when they need it. We wanted to tilt the overall balance more towards health.
So, what tools did we come across in our mission to improve the health of our employees? And what other offerings did we choose in order to further enhance employee wellbeing and satisfaction? Read on and find out in this, our latest move! article.
“Everything alright?” Why the wellbeing of our employees is so important
Whether it’s hectic schedules, demanding work commitments, or social crises, there are many sources of stress and strain in our personal and professional lives. And everyone responds differently. While some of us cope with – or even thrive on – these demands, others can feel overwhelmed.
“Not that it took a pandemic for us to know that the wellbeing of our employees is very important to us, but now, with the introduction of our hybrid work model, everyone has the ability to structure their working day around their personal needs and commitment,”’ says HR manager Jennifer Wilhelm. “The aim of this newly won flexibility is to help improve work-life balance and reduce stress levels.”
But we’re not content to stop just there. We want to take it a step further and offer a range of health benefits that actively promote job satisfaction, motivation, and mental health here at imc. In doing this, what we want is for our employees to enjoy working at imc and be able to achieve their potential, both professionally and personally, without it costing them their wellbeing.
Supporting mental health within the company
Promoting health is an important part of the imc culture and is something the company’s Executive Board takes very seriously, as board member Dr. Wolfram Jost explains: “For all of us here, the last few years have posed new challenges for our health generally, and in many cases, for our mental health in particular. We want to do all we can to support our imc family, so we decided to add voiio and My7Steps to our package of employee benefits.”
My7Steps is for anyone who needs short-term support for difficult life situations or personal crises. It puts people in need of help in touch with qualified psychological counsellors.
The second platform, voiio, gives employees access to online support for all life situations and phases. Its comprehensive offering deals with self-care, pregnancy and childbirth, relationships, jobs, caring for family members, finance, and much more, so people looking for help are sure to find what they need.
That all sounds good in theory, but what do imc’s employees think of these offerings, and are they even using them? We asked around, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Zrinka Prša, a junior software developer at imc, had this to say about her initial experience of the courses offered by voiio: “When I found out about it, I was particularly taken with the mindfulness courses. Most of them are held early in the morning or later in the evening, which is great because they don’t take up much time, and I can try them before or after work. I can use them for an early-morning energy boost to start my day feeling focused, and at the end of the day I can use them to de-stress and unwind.”
Communications manager Nadine Kreutz is also a voiio fan. She uses it to help build a little physical movement into her day. “Like a lot of people, probably, I don’t get as much exercise as I should, particularly exercise for strengthening and mobilising my back. And I have zero interest in pre-recorded workouts of the kind found on YouTube, etc. So, I jumped at the chance to sign up for a few online back exercise programs on voiio, where the trainers model the exercises live and can even provide personal feedback on your technique, if you want. The sessions are only 15 minutes long, so you can easily fit them into your routine, whether you’re in the office or at home.”
imc employees as champions of improved health and wellbeing
The increasing focus on mental health at imc is also due in no small measure to the efforts of our employees themselves. Within our organisation, there has sprung up a small grassroots movement of individuals who are proactively championing and re-imagining health and wellbeing and helping to develop creative new approaches. Learning strategy consultant Katharina Kunz, for example, offers regular mini yoga sessions that have been very well received by her colleagues.
“I think we sometimes forget how beneficial a few minutes of calm breathing and conscious movement can be when we are feeling stressed and unfocused”, Katharina says. “That’s why I offer my Focus&Flow sessions. They don’t require any equipment, and they provide regular opportunities for fellow imc employees to consciously take time out to work on their health. And, of course, yoga is more fun in a group.”
The importance of mental health and work-life balance has also been highlighted in team-specific sessions. Product marketing manager Carlotta Pudelek welcomes this development. “I’m very pleased to see that imc is discussing this subject so openly and encouraging employees in need to accept help. In work contexts in particular, many people are reluctant to talk about mental health. And yet issues with mental health are so common, and talking about them in the open can be such a big help to those affected.”
All these initiatives are supported by our brand ambassador programme, where members are invited to get involved and promote employee health in the new “imc Care” pillar.
Watch this space: Health Weeks
Because health is paramount at imc, we want to go further than these two offerings and proactively raise awareness of (mental) health. We don’t want to give too much away just yet, but it’s safe to say there will be an imc Health Week featuring various special formats dedicated to health and wellbeing.
The line-up includes everything from keynote addresses to sports sessions, to information resources featuring all manner of practical tips, so there’s plenty for all of us to look forward to. We sincerely hope everyone will get on board with this and invest in their long-term wellbeing.
And on that note: take care of yourselves and stay healthy!
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I' ve been working as a permanent member of the imc Marketing & Communication Team since 2021. The mix of creative content creation, social media and online marketing activities excites me the most about my job.
My goal is to inspire people with creative and innovative content and to make the imc brand more tangible.
My passion besides my job? Travelling a lot and discovering the world. I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions at [email protected]!