Following is the conversation that Manage HR Magazine had with Aquila’s President and CEO, I. Yvan Miklin.
Post-pandemic Lifestyle Health and Aquila
As COVID cases continue to fluctuate and new variants emerge, one thing has remained consistent: several risk factors for serious infection include health conditions that can be mitigated or prevented. Lifestyle-related risk factors, according to the CDC, include obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, substance abuse disorders, smoking, and heart disease.
Lifestyle wellness programming has become imperative for all services providers within the health and fitness industry to address. With education, support, and accountability, many people can prevent or lessen the risk from these and other lifestyle-related conditions.
Our Corporate wellness programs incorporate behavior change programs. Now is the time to evaluate if program engagement is increasing or declining and to make sure that programs are inclusive and accessible for everyone in your employee population. Mental and financial health concerns top employees’ benefits priorities. Many of our programs are also incorporating fitness time into the paid workday to encourage participation, a type of wellness benefit that carries a lot of weight when it comes to employee satisfaction and loyalty.
Aquila Corporate and Employer-Sponsored Fitness Center management
Our Employer-based Health and Fitness centers offer lifestyle-focused member onboarding and support programs. We place value on coach-led, customized training that addresses specific employee challenges and goals. Expanding that support to address workout consistency, improved nutrition, regular recovery, and overall wellness will elevate your fitness center’s perceived value among current and prospective members.
Aquila helps Value Based Organizations (VBO) select and manage values-based benefits: Employees feel valued by their employers when their opinions are heard and considered. Starting with a survey is a great first move, but Aquila follows through by sharing survey results as the basis for any HR benefits changes. New offerings that include the flexibility for employees to choose their own values-based benefits should be supported by survey data, proof positive that a company listens to its people – a cultural value every company needs to promote. Aquila supports VBO organizations by providing and managing the complete VBO needs.
Responding to the Stress Pandemic
Aquila employer wellness programs have shifted gears significantly since 2020. Delivery of virtual fitness, meditation, and even counseling options have become top priorities for the corporate wellness industry. With more than half of the global workforce expected to continue working from home or adopting a hybrid model after pandemic restrictions are lifted, wellness programming continues to respond by providing long-term health and wellness solutions to blended workforce populations.
Supporting the Mental and Physical Health
The primary charge for most corporate wellness programs is reducing absenteeism, which can negatively impact individual and organizational performance and productivity. Supporting both the mental and physical wellbeing of employees is essential to reducing absences, and all programming must be accessible to both on-site and work-from-home employees and eligible dependents.
Aquila recently outlined three ways corporate wellness programs can quickly respond to the new blended workplace model:
• Adopting resiliency-building tools such as the WELCOA COVID-19 Worksite Wellness Toolkit
• Offering financial wellbeing and counseling benefits appropriate for population needs
• Integrating artificial intelligence to guide workers through open enrollment benefits selection
In addition, employers understand the benefits of physical activity on mental and overall health. To keep employees active, we expect to see these changes to corporate fitness programs in 2022 and beyond:
• A shift to whole-person fitness programming, emphasizing mind-body movement and meditation
• Virtual delivery of fitness programming through both owned and secondary subscription channels
• Wellness coaching is an integral part of every employer’s virtual EAP offering
Aquila Augments Existing Benefits with Programs that Work
It can be tempting for benefits specialists to read the latest headline and jump at the opportunity to expand benefits packages to meet population needs, but a word of caution: first, ask employees for input. An employee needs assessment is essential in building a wellness program that offers real value now and for the long term. Second, it’s important to go with a provider who can offer a proven track record that speaks to their programming engagement, effectiveness, and longevity.
A Full-Service Health, Fitness, Wellness & Lifestyle Management Company
Aquila provides 28 years of experience in complete corporate wellness and fitness management programs. This includes turnkey programs and facility management services that focus on whole health employee programs, health coaching, physical activity and nutrition initiatives, employer-sponsored on-site fitness centers, genetic health direction programs, and virtual programming through Aquila App. Our services are available on-site and also virtually.
Aquila is Providing Wellness Solutions People Want
The reality of flex work is that full-time remote workers are returning to the office and may need the incentive to continue to engage while adjusting to a new working schedule. Communication and engagement is essential for keeping programs and services top-of-mind during this transition.
Within this shifting workforce preferences landscape, Aquila corporate wellness benefits adjust to address the stresses of change. Helping employees focus on work-life balance requires EAP counseling and other wellness and mental health programs that are user-friendly, accessible, and convenient. Creating a benefits hub that serves and engages remote, hybrid, and onsite employees is a challenge employers must address right away. Engagement is the key to successful employee wellness programs, and it’s time to make sure that’s what your company delivers.
Aquila Corporate Fitness & Wellness Centers recognize additional opportunities to serve a hybrid workforce. Our Corporate Fitness center programming – including group fitness, virtual classes, and personal training – has remained primarily focused on serving working-age members with virtual and on-demand classes and training.
We place value on coach-led, customized training that addresses specific employee challenges and goals
Aquila Looks Forward to Custom Solutions
Aquila consultants predicted many of the trends we see for 2022. Our team of experts has provided clients with support by providing hybrid fitness solutions, perfecting virtual wellness and fitness delivery, and integrating technology that keeps people connected. At the same time, we’ve provided guidelines for reopening fitness and wellness centers and in-person services safely.
The pandemic and resulting forced remote work have created feelings of isolation. Aquila now supports better health through our response to clients, employees, and the member wants and needs. We provide engaging and relevant health and fitness solutions and safe environments. As a wellness provider, we remain flexible and continue adjusting as public health sentiment becomes more proactive and the desire to return to in-person work and fitness gains momentum.
At Aquila, proactive health solutions are our specialty. As the new normal gives way to a new age in holistic wellness, we’re ready to help our clients once again pivot and lead the industry through 2022 and beyond. We’re ready for the next normal – an improved approach to wellness with a focus on the future.