Going with flow
Since a wellness focus which took on new life after 12 teams of employees lost a combined total of 850 pounds in the 2013 Flow Biggest Loser challenge, there has simply been no looking back for the Internet and cable company.
On a visit to the Flow corporate office on any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening, you will find a group of employees working out together.
Over a nine-week period the employees participated in group workouts and a series of healthy lifestyle presentations by wellness practitioners.
According to security manager at Flow, Nigel Gordon, the greatest success has come from the long-term effect that the programme has had, with an increase in the number of employees who have adopted healthy lifestyle habits, some of which include exercising daily, developing healthier eating habits and some have even stopped smoking.
"The need to be healthy never stops and I realised my co-workers needed the encouragement to continue along the path towards optimal wellness and to get fitter," said Gordon, who used his military experience as the team leader for the 2013 challenge, and continues to lead the workouts almost a year later.
"This is a win-win for all of us. It's exciting and motivates me to see their achievements and progress towards better health," Gordon shared. "An added bonus for all is that this also helps us mentally, so we are more effective in our jobs, can enjoy life and be there for our families."
Vice-president of Organisational Development at Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, operators of Flow, Makeba Bennett-Easy said wellness is an integral part of the company's strategic objective of being an employer of choice and is a critical element in achieving business goals.
"There is no disputing that a comprehensive corporate health and wellness programme can improve health outcomes, reduce employer and employee health care costs and significantly impact employee engagement," she said. "Productivity improves as team members feel better about themselves personally, have more energy and are more productive in their roles."
Flow employees also participate in several road races; in fact, some 100 employees are today travelling from Kingston to Montego Bay, St James to participate in the Flow MoBay City Run.
"These activities help me to achieve my goal to be fit and active," said Tracy-Ann Peynado, a sales support agent. "I also like the camaraderie with the team. Especially (since) we work ... and play together, and I am able to spend quality time with other team members who I may not see during the normal course of the workday."