In a first-of-its-kind partnership, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta) and The Cannata Report are joining together to provide Konica Minolta’s employees and its dealer partners with a series of health and wellness classes.
The classes are part of Konica Minolta’s overall wellness program called Healthy Together, which provides a holistic approach to an individual’s health by focusing on physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, and occupational well-being.
The classes, taught by Sharon Esker, The Cannata Report’s story and features editor and a certified yoga instructor, blend yoga and meditation with mindfulness exercises. The first class is scheduled for March 5, at noon EST with additional classes to be held in April and May.
The sessions are for all fitness levels and incorporate mindfulness, meditation, and active movement with intentional breath. The exercises are designed to support mental health and help participants manage stress as well as boost their alertness and energy levels. Further, these sessions can improve company morale, an important factor in an organization’s overall success. Esker will also present strategies participants can adapt to their individual needs, lifestyles, and schedules.
Wellness is not a new concept to Konica Minolta and the company has always had programs, albeit those programs were geared to employees who received its healthcare benefits. But this initiative takes wellness to another level, particularly in its scope and reach, as the program is also available to the company’s dealer partners.
Although Konica Minolta was exploring new wellness initiatives before the pandemic, COVID-19 accelerated the need and raised awareness that wellness is not only centered on an individual’s physical health but their psychological well-being as well.
“It’s like our digital transformation, everything accelerated,” observed Vicky Ringwood, senior vice president, human resources. “People are stressed out. There are all these complexities of working from home while your kids are at home or when caring for a sick relative.”
She cites a CDC study that revealed 40% of adults reported that they are currently concerned about their mental health, a percentage she suggested could be even higher than that.
“We’re making an effort at Konica Minolta to ground how we think about wellness in terms of our employee experience,” stated Ringwood.
The focus is on the type of experience the company and partners participating in the program want employees to have health-wise, mentally, and occupationally in terms of how they work, where they work, and how they are supported.
When I spoke to Ringwood, she was preparing to film an internal video about the company’s overall health and wellness program for the company’s employees, by emphasizing the need to create psychological safety, trust, transparency, inclusion, and respect.
“That’s a part of wellness too because you can be the healthiest person in the world and not have those other things,” she said. “And if you don’t, you will never be well or fully productive.”
According to Ringwood, opening up the Healthy Together program to dealer partners is a way to help them be healthier and better leaders. She hopes that this will also inspire them to implement similar programs in their organizations.
“We believe there’s mutual gain in that if we have dealers who feel connected and inspired, then they will be great partners to us too,” stated Ringwood.
If the feedback is positive on the first three Healthy Together sessions, there will be more. The sessions, which will be live-streamed, will also be recorded, enabling Konica Minolta employees and dealers to participate at their convenience.
“The takeaway from this is that we at Konica Minolta realize that our employees bring the outside world in and that work affects home,” said Ringwood. “Recognizing that whole person and having these different tools and programs that help them navigate their entire experience is important to us.”
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