The general topic field of resilience in employee fitness and corporate wellness is well documented. Integral resilience advances this body of work by highlighting specific ways in which corporate cultures based on Big Heart Intelligence can enhance performance across a broad spectrum of corporate functions.
The general topic field of resilience in employee fitness and corporate wellness is well explored. One company, BSI, based in the UK has indexed and benchmarked best practices tracking the relationship of resilience to a broad range of corporate functions. BSI has produced a BSI Resilience Standard based on interviews with over 1,200 senior executives. BSI makes an important contribution by linking the development of organizational resilience with the Japanese concept of kaizen, or continuous enhanced performance.
The dominant global player in the corporate fitness and wellness space is Cerner Corporation which offers a diverse and rich portfolio of products, services backed by strong research capabilities. Many other companies seek to differentiate their services by specializing on specific challenges such as stress reduction. There is a whole subgroup of consultants focusing on disaster relief and emergency management with sophisticated tools to measure resilience under these extreme conditions (62) Others highlight the importance of new modalities such as mindfulness and emotional intelligence.
Gamification of fitness programs is an important new trend. A survey by the National Business Group on Health and Towers Watson found that 45 percent of companies surveyed used competitions as a key part of their wellness initiatives, with an additional 15 percent of companies planning to add competitions in 2013. There was a similar increase in the percentage of companies planning to incorporate social media tools into their wellness programs: up from 12 percent in 2011 to 19 percent in 2012, with another 17 percent reporting that they are ready to add social media tools this year.
Almost all commentators view resilience as a core competency that they urge should be instilled within an organization’s basic cultural DNA.
Several firms have developed metrics for organizational resilience. One example is Life Speak which in addition to tracking objective outcomes such as employee absenteeism attempts to evaluate enhanced employee resilience based on gains in energy, productivity, engagement, creativity, and collaboration. Various consulting firms attest to the real cost savings resulting from enhanced organizational resilience. One example:
- Employees lowered glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Avoidable ER visits decreased.
- The average waist circumference of the workforce was reduced.
- For every dollar spent, the employer enjoyed $1.15-2.57 in benefits, as a result of improving the health of their employees.
- A large manufacturer in the region provided access to care for 1,264 employees through on-site health clinics, along with medical screenings and chronic care management.
- Medical claims were reduced by 17%.
- Key health markers, such as HgA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure all dropped.
- The company saved $1.8 million annually.
Critique. There has been some recent push back that the claims are overblown and unsubstantiated by basic protocols of social science. One writer expressed these concerns regarding the beneficial effects of mindfulness. The critique may be more generally relevant and raises the bar for Integral Resilience.
“Mindfulness is the height of fashion in leadership development circles. At a recent conference in the field, we saw a missionary-type fervor among some trainers who claimed that mindfulness could fix every ill in the organizational world. But hopes like these are justified more by wishing than by any reliable evidence. There is in fact very little data in relation to the impact of mindfulness training on leadership development. Despite plenty of anecdotal support from leaders who have tried mindfulness, the current enthusiasm for it derives mainly from research conducted in clinical contexts that have little applicability to modern organizations (sic)”.
From the perspective of leadership development, there are three urgent questions that need to be answered if the enthusiasm (and the usefulness of mindfulness in a leadership context) isn’t to dissipate.
We need to know:
- Does mindfulness training actually “develop” leadership?
- If it does, how does it do so? What are the mechanisms that make it effective?
- And how do we design interventions that actually work?” (68)
- Workplace Health and Fitness
- Stress reduction in the workplace
- Impaired Organizational Resilience
- Standard Metrics
- Cost Savings
- The Road to Resiliency (American City and County)
Next: Successful Organizations