Too often, organizations talk about having a good work/life balance as an important component to their corporate cultures. Let’s be honest, most times that’s just lip service. In fact, some organizations that go out of their way to promote the fact that they have a solid work/life balance are often the exact opposite. This can be especially true in agency life. Truthfully, marketing communications is a fast-paced field where overtime and weekend hours are often a prerequisite if you want to succeed.
Recognizing this unavoidable truth, Merritt Group wanted to take some incremental steps that could be easily implemented to move the needle a few notches back towards the “Life” side of the equation. We started a voluntary program called
MG In Balance with the intention of fostering employee wellness and team cohesion through physical activity.
The program has three simple components:
- Happy and Healthy Hours – Replacing a happy hour once a month with an exercise class or group activity to promote wellness
- In Balance Excursions – Once a quarter, taking the entire agency out of the office for a hike in a state park, a relaxing bike ride or perhaps a kayaking trip (it’s in the works)
- The In Balance Allowance - $100 per employee, per year, to pay for the registration fees of a 5K, a half-marathon, a tough mudder, century bike race or any other physical challenge of their choosing
That’s it. By making the program voluntary, pragmatic and fun, we’ve been able to ensure its implementation and achieve very solid participation among the staff in both our Virginia and California offices. It’s been a great way to reinforce longstanding team relationships, as well as helping to integrate new staff into the agency.
So, if you’re truly committed to fostering work/life balance at your organization, think about the small but meaningful steps you can take to get out, get active and boost morale!