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Gearing up for 2018 | How everyone benefits from a healthy workplace

Kim Klosak | Jan 5, 2018 Kim Klosak 01/05/18

With each New Year comes the opportunity to reflect on the past, assess the present, and plan for the future. For organizations, that means putting strategic initiatives in place aimed at ensuring long-term, sustainable success. For employees, it may be resolving to make meaningful changes starting January 1. While those two iterations of the same principle may seem worlds apart, they’re actually more intertwined than you might think.

With the myriad of studies proving the extensive organizational benefits of health and wellness programs—including increased productivity, higher employee retention, and reduced healthcare costs—it’s no surprise companies are investing more resources to support employee health. With the first week of 2018 in the books, we wanted to share just a few ways SMG supports employees to help them turn their 2018 resolutions into reality.

Promoting healthy living through active lifestyles

We know physical wellness plays a crucial role in living healthily, which is why SMG supports employees’ fitness initiatives in several ways. One of the more notable examples is our participation in the annual Kansas City Corporate Challenge, which we’ve been doing for nearly 17 years (including 8 first-place finishes).

While the annual challenge is great for inspiring a spirit of competition and jumpstarting an active lifestyle, SMG also encourages physical wellness through a number of ongoing initiatives, including:

  • Weekly classes like yoga, bootcamp, core galore, + run clubs
  • Access to a fitness center + free, healthy snack options
  • Regularly scheduled on-site biometric screenings + flu shots


Balancing healthy bodies with healthy minds

As anyone who’s ever visited a gym this time of year can attest, physical fitness usually gets top billing when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. However, study after study shows that it’s important to give equal attention to living a mentally healthy lifestyle to alleviate the effects stress can have on the body. To that end, we’ve launched several ongoing initiatives, including:

  • Mental breaks involving stress management techniques + group discussions
  • Lunch & learns covering everything from healthcare plans to workplace ergonomics
  • Weekly bring-your-dog-to-work Fridays + on-site massage options twice/month

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And because the biggest contributor to mental stress is financial troubles, we’re putting an emphasis on financial literacy best practices as part of SMG’s 2018 health and wellness plan.

The hidden benefits (for companies and employees)

When you think about the potential widespread effects of an effective health and wellness program, the decision to invest in one becomes a no-brainer. Of course, there are some obvious benefits like reduced healthcare premiums, fewer sick days, and happier, more productive employees. But there are also some not-so-obvious factors to consider as well.

Events like the corporate challenge often spur cross-department teamwork between employees that may not interact in their roles within the office. And the same can be said for the weekly fitness groups, which have the added benefit of providing leadership opportunities for organizers and class teachers. Most importantly, when employees feel like the company is invested in them, they’re naturally more invested in the company.

Bottom line:

True win-win situations can be hard to come by in the workplace, which is what makes health and wellness programs such a unique opportunity for organizations. While there’s always work to be done, we’re proud of the culture we’ve built at SMG, and we look forward to evolving it in 2018.

If you’d like to learn more about SMG and what it’s like to work here, check out our careers page. We’d love for you to help us make this year our healthiest yet.

Kim Klosak
VP, Human Resources