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Desk Chore: Happy, healthy employees is what every corporation should want

A happy worker is a productive worker. You can add healthy to that list, too.
Companies large and small seem content on injecting health and wellness into the workplace. Just how much and with what intensity and fervor varies across the board.
The driving force behind this healthy initiative is more than just companies hoping to save a bunch of money on the rising costs of health care for its employees. That dollar figure is staggering, and companies finally have grown tired of spending millions, when perhaps a few thousand dollars a year on corporate health fairs and gym membership for employees just might do the trick.
The only negative of that thinking is you're putting the onus on the employees to take the resources and rhetoric you're providing them and act accordingly. A lot of times when four or five o'clock rolls around, the idea of working out isn't any more appealing even if it is touted as free or partially paid for by your place of employment.
As for the health fairs, employees may look at this as time they don't have to work or can walk around to respective booths for little freebies like key chains, travel tooth brushes or a plethora of sample cereal or nutrition bars. These corporate health fairs feel more like Halloween for adults in shirts and ties rather than actual education or an emphatic rallying behind getting fit.

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The trick to guiding employees to exercise bliss is the notion of bringing fitness to the workplace, instead of the art of sending them off into the workout wilderness and hoping for the best. You'll see some of the more progressive corporations, regardless of their size, begin to incorporate fitness centers at the office, setting aside a few thousand square feet for sit up machines, stability balls and even shower facilities.
Logically, this move makes plenty of sense, whether you're deciding to exercise on your lunch break, or before or after work. Even the most ardent and driven exerciser can easily take a detour en route to the gym after they leave the office.
Then, you have a company like Skullcandy, known more for its renowned and reputable expertise in ear buds, headphones and all things audio. What you may not be as aware of is their penchant for fitness, diet and the health of its employees.
Not surprisingly, that starts at the top with Hoby Darling, President and CEO of Skullcandy. Beyond the board room, Darling is marathon and Iron Man competitor and is certified to teach Crossfit, a brand of exercising that is equally high in intensity and repetitions of athletic movements.
He's taken his love of fitness and applied it to his employees.
"We've are evolving as a company, while at the same time evolving as a team," Darling said, referring to changing the work environment. "We now rent a local fieldhouse for the Skullcandy team workout on Thursday mornings."
In addition, Darling isn't opposed to the aforementioned art of offering gym memberships, too.
"We have also partnered with our local gyms and health clubs to subsidize membership and make them available to all employees."
Darling wants employees physically strong but also respects and focuses on the mental aspect of working smarter, not harder.
"While the physical is a big part of being healthy, the mental is just as important," Darling stresses. "We have a PhD executive coach that now works with our teams to make sure we have a peak performance team that is mentally healthy."
Darling is doing something that is worth noting and duplicating as far as a company leader not only preaching but practicing a healthier environment. Darling changed the culture at Skullcandy to include all work and all play as well.
You'd be hard pressed to find a Skullcandy worker who isn't happy, productive and, most of all, healthy.

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