Michael Heinrich, Founder and CEO, GartenMichael Heinrich, Founder and CEO
Bay Area-based, Garten strives to make corporate well-being simple and effective by making the workplace healthier and work-life balance non-negotiable. Garten advocates a healthy lifestyle in the workplace and believes career advancement shouldn’t come at the price of personal well-being. Garten has pioneered a modern holistic approach to health and wellness that fosters engagement among employees to grow as a team and improves productivity.

In an interview with Manage HR, Michael Heinrich, founder and CEO of Garten, shares his insights on the importance of having a holistic approach to employee well-being and its relation to performance and productivity.

Garten’s holistic approach toward corporate wellness

The seeds of inspiration for Garten began in my grandma’s garden, where she took a garden-first approach to medicine by regularly following a preventive lifestyle of eating from the garden, going to bed early, and exercising. I quickly discovered that the corporate culture prizes productivity over health, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is extremely difficult, making it my mission to bring well-being through meditation, mindfulness, and community events. Garten offers a holistic wellness platform for both small and large corporations.

At a time when corporations are returning to their normal working pace, we help them re-energize their workplace by delivering clean, delicious, and nutritious meals, healthy snacks, drinks, and wellness practices. At Garten, food is considered the foundation that has an immediate effect on employee health and performance. A healthy eating pattern helps prevent the digestive system from being overworked, which results in a sugar crash or food coma, affecting productivity.

The challenges in the corporate wellness space and their solutions

According to a Deloitte study, corporate well-being is of utmost importance, as 68 percent of employees and 81 percent of C-suite executives believe that improving their well-being is more important than advancing their careers. After reviewing employees’ productivity data, executives understand the need for well-being at the workplace but often struggle to determine what employees need to be successful and productive. This is where Garten moves the needle with a proactive approach to delivering well-being services directly to the workforce. We educate our clients on our full suite of well-being products, where we focus on the mind, body, and environment when it comes to wellness and the food we put in our bodies as fuel.

Our procurement team has a portfolio approach to the healthiness of products that defines healthy food options within 5 tiers. These 5 tiers are determined through our nutritional philosophy that was developed by Dr. David Katz, a lifestyle medicine expert. We help find healthy alternatives according to user requirements and specifications as part of our selection process. For instance, if the CFO wants Diet Mountain Dew for employees, we help them find healthy alternatives by providing a portfolio of food options according to their specific requirements.

The unique functionality of Garten and its benefits for clients

As evidenced by a recent Deloitte study, amid a significant war for talent between knowledge and tech workers, employees are looking for a workplace that supports flexibility, autonomy, and well-being. If a company can demonstrate a real commitment to the well-being of its potential employees, it can be ahead of its competition. We focus on the employees’ food consumption habits and work toward providing a holistic set of wellness services that impact the mind, body, and environment. Garten offers the core nutrition and well-being programs as a comprehensive package, which includes the Garten kitchen, Garten Chef, Garten Market, Garten Snacks, Garten TV, and Garten Virtual Experience Kit.

The Garten TV allows employees to watch any well-being content from the comfort of their homes or in the workplace. The Garten Virtual Experience provides more guided experiences via virtual classes, events, and group activities. The content relates to healthy cooking, yoga, meditation, and ergonomics. Garten’s nutritional options, which include snacks, beverages, coffee, meals, and smart vending machines, are designed to satisfy the requirements of small and large corporations, depending on the organization’s environment and budget. We create a well- rounded, customized program offering a comprehensive set of wellness education that takes four to six weeks to implement.
  • With Garten, well-being becomes a non-negotiable priority to improve employee productivity and help organizations gain a competitive edge

The Garten platform shows how investing in employee wellbeing increases productivity, retention, and ultimately a business’s competitive edge by helping workers perform better and live a healthier lifestyle.

Garten’s distinguishing characteristics

Our mission is to empower people to live healthy blissful lives. We offer a personalized, holistic approach to well-being, keeping nutrients as the program’s foundation while focusing on the mind, body, and environment to deliver total well-being. The customer-centric approach to technology provides an opportunity to think differently about workplace wellness. Our dashboard manages personalized lists of clients’ consumption, preferences, tasks, and budget to ensure the highest quality and efficiency.

Making well-being a non-negotiable priority, Garten believes in doing less to accomplish more as a part of its commitment to ward-off stress and normalize rest during the day. We offer transcendental meditation, well-being bonuses, and unlimited vacation benefits to the workforce to promote well-being and increase efficiency.

A customer success story highlighting Garten’s expertise

Garten has a stealthy approach to workplace wellness, making it a turnkey solution for employees by providing better well-being at scale. For example, when a leading bay area tech company approached us to learn about food’s nutritional value in relation to employee well-being, we helped them improve workforce wellness by changing their consumption pattern. We created a nutrition score dashboard that stores information about Garten’s kitchen offerings, which can be scored from 60 percent to 100 percent. We have a method to calculate the nutritional value on a scale of one to five based on the nutrients, their processing, and the origin of the various products of organic and non-genetically modified organisms. We assisted them by providing healthy food alternatives to reach seventy to eighty percent of the nutritional value on their scoreboard in a couple of months while maintaining their budget. We constantly strive to provide mind, body, and environmental wellness to help individuals live healthy lifestyles and reach their full potential in the workplace by promoting work-life balance.