Nicole Mixdorf, Founder &Chief Wellness Officer, Balance by NatureNicole Mixdorf, Founder &Chief Wellness Officer
Headquartered in California, Balance by Nature has established itself as a major player in the Corporate Wellness market by providing high-touch, high-tech solutions that are personalized to the needs of companies and their employees. The company acts as an extension of clients’ teams to gain a comprehensive understanding of their unique organizational culture and work environment. This high-touch approach to program management, combined with its flexible and innovative mindset, allows Balance by Nature to create new customized wellness program content based on the unique needs of the moment. “Every business is different and has unique needs. As a result, there can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to employee wellness,” says Nicole Mixdorf, the Founder &Chief Wellness Officer of Balance by Nature.

Following is the conversation that Manage HR had with Mixdorf to understand the multi-tiered approach to wellness that has supported Balance by Nature in winning six prestigious awards this year.

What are the market pain points of your customers that have manifested as opportunities for your solution and approach?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and live. Companies are dealing with the unique challenges of a fully remote workforce and struggling to maintain a sense of culture, team unity, and motivation amongst a highly stressed group of employees. Many employees are finding it difficult to balance working from home while also home-schooling their children with fewer childcare options. Other employees live alone and are experiencing isolation, anxiety, and depression. Employees who happen to be people of color are feeling triggered by social unrest and calls to end systemic racism within our country. And, of course, everyone has been dealing with the emotional roller coaster of the 2020 elections and the tensions that it has created in personal relationships. The mental and emotional toll on employees has never been greater than it is right now.

We see this as an opportunity to inspire employees with a more balanced lifestyle that will help them manage the intensity they are experiencing. We are well-positioned to handle the needs of the moment with our wide range of options for mental health and stress reduction, including tailored meditation classes, mindfulness at work and at home, growth mindset, music therapy, laughter therapy, sound bath therapy, EFT tapping, reiki healing, 21 Days to Less Stress at Your Desk, and more. The department-specific programs that we implement support personal and team development, with topics such as motivating unity, embracing change, breaking through fear, building emotional resiliency, mindset for success, maximizing your quarantine experience, strategic life planning, and more.

How does your consultative approach work? Please elaborate.

When we first start working with a new company, we take the time to understand what is happening with their business, what is going on with their culture, how stress levels are amongst their staff, and how that is affecting their morale, communication, collaboration, innovation, and health outcomes. What kinds of changes has the business been going through, and how are the employees feeling and performing? What is the mission and values of the business, and are those being incorporated into daily operations? We also find out what their goals are and what their vision is for wellness to drive their business forward.Another piece of the puzzle is gathering feedback from employees to understand how they are feeling right now, what areas of support they need, what kinds of wellness experiences they are interested in, what type of content they want to engage with, what type of schedule is most conducive for participation, and what their wellness goals are. This information helps us design award-winning wellness strategies and programs with high levels of engagement because we deliver solutions that their employees want.

Part of our implementation process is to schedule meetings with the leaders of each department to better understand the unique needs and challenges of their staff. We understand that each team is working under different circumstances with their own dynamic and issues. The needs of the operations team may be completely different than the needs of the finance team or sales team. By engaging with the Vice President of the department, we can design tailored solutions to help their team thrive.

Every business is different and has unique needs. As a result, there can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to employee wellness

What impact does Balance by Nature’s work culture have on its employees and clients? Is there any instance where your company’s culture became a major selling point to your potential clients?

We have a strong work culture at Balance by Nature, where all our employees drive our mission to inspire people to make small changes in their daily routines that improve their health outcomes, overall well-being, job satisfaction, and productivity. We want people to FEEL GOOD. That is what it’s all about.

The vision that we have for our own team becomes a reflection of the vision we implement for our prospective clients. Companies choose to work with Balance by Nature because they are brought into the vision that we co-create together.

How did you keep track of the right ingredients that you wanted to have to build the relevant solutions portfolio?

One of the benefits of working so closely and collaboratively with our clients is that we have our finger on the pulse about what is happening within their businesses and the market in general. With clients across a multitude of industries – technology, retail, real estate, government, healthcare, law, non-profit, etc. – we can see trends and create new proactive solutions as needed.

Our programs have always been centered around five main components – fitness, nutrition, stress reduction, personal development, and team building. We have expanded our offerings in each area to create a diverse portfolio of wellness experiences for clients to choose from.

How do you motivate employees to succeed?

I am a very uplifting person who loves inspiring people to believe in themselves and play a bigger game in their lives. Almost every conversation that I have with people ends with them thanking me for sharing new ideas, strategies, or solutions to move them forward. It is my unique brilliance and something that brings me a lot of joy. I take the time to ask a lot of questions, and I show a genuine interest in what people are pursuing. I have a way of putting myself in other people’s shoes to really understand how they are feeling and know what steps forward make sense. I love seeing people succeed and always do whatever I can to support them on their journeys.

Can you provide us a sneak-peak as to what lies ahead for your firm?

We are looking to expand into diversity and inclusion in 2021. It makes sense to combine diversity and inclusion with wellness, as both types of programs aim to shift corporate cultures. From a wellness perspective, we are promoting cultures of health, where employees bring their best selves into their work each day and enjoy a more balanced lifestyle, allowing them to perform to their greatest potential. Diversity and inclusion is about shifting to a more inclusive culture where differences are welcomed, and everyone feels heard, supported, and respected, leading to greater collaboration, innovation, and success. The two really go hand in hand, so we are excited about this new direction.