1-on-1 with Physical Well-being Lead: how in-house training keeps team motivated
November 25, 2021
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The simple truth is that fancy job titles and competitive salaries will no longer cut it if you want to improve your employee retention. Recent studies show that companies offering additional benefits and wellness programs experience 56% less employee attrition. And while Nord Security has a complete benefits package, we pay special attention to one particular area - our team's well-being. Therefore, in this interview, we talked with our Physical Well-Being Team Lead, Paulius Paškevičius, about the benefits that our in-house well-being specialists bring to employees and tips on how to improve your physical well-being while at work.
Well-being at Nord Security
First, could you tell us a little about yourself and your team? What's your mission at Nord Security?
Hi, I'm Paulius, and I'm leading Nord Security's in-house Physical Well-being Team. Our team consists of experienced and dedicated physiotherapists (or physical well-being specialists) working together to improve the physical health of our people. Our work consists of these areas:
Organizing group and individual training sessions;
Crafting workout plans and supervising exercises;
Consulting employees' regarding their health issues and helping to fix them through individually tailored physiotherapy exercises.
Monitoring the physical condition of our employees through various surveys and physical examination workshops.
Educating our colleagues about physical activity benefits for their body, productivity, concentration, motivation, and time management.
At the moment, we're a three-person team with 800+ professionals to look after. Of course, not all of them lead active lifestyles or have physical problems, but we have plenty to keep us busy here :)
Ok, so just how many attendees do you guys have in your training sessions?
Well, it varies. I'm actually really glad to be part of this team as most of our colleagues are mindful individuals that highly value their health and take care of it as soon as they feel unwell or take preventative measures to improve their health. So, to give some estimations - around one in three Nord Security workers contacted our team in 2021.
Minimizing the health risks
You guys also provide physiotherapy and build programs for people with injuries. What are the most common ailments you battle?
It's no surprise that a major problem for people working sedentary jobs is their back pain. And the sad statistic here is that usually, people start to experience it in their sixties, but not their forties. However, most employees at Nord Security are in their forties, and we're already dealing with it - just not severe cases. The thing is that back pain can be easily cured or minimized if spotted on time. Sometimes, it's enough to advise our colleagues to simply stretch, change their sitting position, or do specific muscle activation exercises to make their back pain disappear. However, when that's not helping, they need to strengthen their back muscles, and the best way to do it is with regular exercise.
What are the main benefits for people who join your trainings?
Usually, people who aren't physically active are more tired, experience mood swings, and have trouble concentrating. As a result, it impacts their work performance and overall happiness. Therefore, it's important for people to join the physical activities that can increase well-being and work performance.
Developing trainings for everyone
Has the pandemic affected the activity rates in the company once more people started working from home?
To be honest, physical activity rates haven't changed much because of the pandemic. We simply adapted and started to work remotely by providing online training sessions. We just noticed a shift in attendees: those who didn't want to join live sessions started joining remotely, and those who enjoyed live sessions didn't want to engage with them online. I'd say that the pandemic situation helped us to make this insight and develop a hybrid training model, which we're keeping to this day.
Could you go a bit in-depth on what training you provide and how you built the training program?
As a team, we strive to personalize physical training as much as possible. Some people need core muscles or full-body strengthening workouts, while others need to improve their mobility. Moreover, sometimes they need specific training or physiotherapy to help with pain, trauma, or recovery, e.g., mothers after childbirth. But for the joint workouts, we first run individual physical health examinations to determine the level of their physical capacity and ailments. Then, based on the results, we give a preventive training program plan. Finally, we enroll a person in individual or small-group (up to 4 people) training sessions.
Advice and tips for sedentary workers
Do you think that every organization should have training possibilities in-house due to health risks from sedentary jobs?
Yes, in-house training can result in a great benefit for employees and the company because those who exercise are more resistant to illness and more productive at their job. However, to make this work, you, as a company, must provide every opportunity for employees to exercise during working hours and encourage them to do so - just like we do at Nord Security. We're living in an era where time is the most valued resource, so allowing your employees to make most of it will strengthen the trust, loyalty, and performance they bring to the table.
However, what's exceptional in our team is that physical well-being and an active lifestyle is not just another benefit here. Our founders have a strong "lead by example" approach - they are health and sports-oriented. Everyone can see it, and it motivates them to join in, too.
Could you give any tips or exercises for people working with their laptops all day - what would help them avoid future ailments?
Of course! Actually, prevention is not that complicated as it may seem. You can prevent physical problems following these simple tips:
Don't sit too long in a chair and constantly change your sitting position.
Every hour or more frequently, stand up, stretch, squat or bend down to reach the ground.
Instead of drinking water next to your computer screen, walk to the kitchen every time you need a drink, as this kind of activity will help get your body moving. It'll keep certain muscle groups awake and active during the day.
Find time during your workday to attend physical training that will help you strengthen your body under the supervision of a movement specialist.