Magic Performance Pill?
A conversation with Life 2.0's creator Matt Look, CEO of Salus Living LLC
By Todd Nordstrom, Founder of BizRibbon.com
What if there was a magic pill that could make people smarter, more productive, and more engaged? Would you buy it?
Okay, so maybe it sounds like snake-oil — it's just too good to be to true. But, is it?
"Corporate America would devour such a thing," says Matt Look, CEO and Founder of Salus Living LLC, who created Life 2.0, a web-based corporate wellness program. "I'd buy it."
We all would buy it. Too bad it doesn't exist, because increased productivity, employee engagement, and organizational development and training top the list of initiatives at most companies in America. But, ironically, gobs of recent research is showing Corporate America that there is a way to increase all those things we desire from ourselves, our peers, and our employees.
What is it? The magic bullet is something you might not expect. It's not advanced learning techniques. And, it's not complicated systems. The answer it seems — plain and simple — is your health.
A recent study published by the American College Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that presenteeism — employees who are present for work but unable to perform at full capacity — creates a greater drain on company productivity than an absent employee.
"The numbers are shocking," says Look. "For every dollar spent on medical costs, there is an extra $2.30 of health-related productivity losses due to absenteeism and presenteeism combined — that's money we're losing and don't even realize. Poof! It's gone. And, it gets scarier. Health conditions, such as anxiety, cost employers as much as $20 in productivity loss for every dollar they spend on health care."
Wait. I thought we were talking about increased intellect, increased employee engagement, and accelerating performance?
"We are talking about those things," says Look. "Yes, it makes sense that if people are healthy, a company will save money due to decreases in health insurance claims. Everyone can see that. But, how much is your company losing because your employees are sick and not performing to their full capacity. Think of the last time you were sick. Did you get a lot of work done? Now, think about people with chronic illnesses. We have calculators built into our system that can run numbers on how much companies can make if they eliminate health risks. The reactions we get from employers when they see those numbers, are just amazing."
So, removing health risks can make companies money?
"Yes," says Look. "It can save money and make money. But, it's not just about the instant measurable money. Other studies are proving that exercise can boost brainpower. Newsweek ran an article not too long ago spotlighting the research." (http://www.newsweek.com/id/36056)
And, employee engagement?
"That's the interesting part," says Look. "Corporate wellness has been at the forefront of discussions now for decades. Ironically, companies haven't been able to really create behavioral changes with many of the products offered out there. Why? Why isn't wellness working in the corporate world? We studied wellness programs before creating Life 2.0. And, the main reason it doesn't work in most companies is simple — the company doesn't champion the cause. But, beside that, there are some very specific criteria a program must meet to be successful."
Why isn't wellness working?
Look says that his goal in developing the Life 2.0 program was to address all of the reasons mentioned above.
- "It's confusing," says Look. "We're all so bombarded by messages today that we don't know what to do, or how to react."
- "There's no support," he adds. "Look at successful diet, nutrition or exercise programs that have worked, and you'll quickly realize that the information isn't anything special, but the support of the program or system is phenomenal."
- "People aren't being held accountable," says Matt. "Informational brochures and posters are great...but what happens with the information. If it doesn't change behavior, it's not going to solve the problem."
- "Wellness has never really been tied to business performance. Obviously, healthy employees perform better than sick employees. But, if you can't monitor, track, and determine ROI, how is a company supposed to measure performance results? They can't."
"Wellness needs to be a priority," he says. "New statistics are published every day that basically say we're a nation that continues to get sicker. And, it's not going to be a priority for companies until they can directly tie it to their business. Corporate wellness is more than just biological health — it also includes emotional, cultural, and economic health too. These are all areas we focused on when we created Life 2.0. But, the solution to this massive problem isn't about what Life 2.0 can do for a company. The only way to solve this problem is by each one of us taking the reigns, acknowledging the situation, and then doing something about it."
Matt Look is right. And, although it's difficult to digest the dollars and cents our organizations might be losing to productivity loss, it's easy to realize that we're all only human — and when we're sick, we don't perform up to par.
For information about Life 2.0 go to: www.salusliving.com
"Just email me," adds Look. "I'll get you on one of our free webinars!"
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