Mindfulness Isn’t Just a Buzzword at BIOTRONIK
With 2023 upon us, BIOTRONIK employees are no exception to the kind of motivated goal-setting we often see at this time of year. Whether it’s more sports, a more mindful approach to everyday life, or to quit smoking—it’s important to have as much support as possible. That’s why BIOTRONIK’s Health Program 2023 will work to empower employees to achieve their health-related goals. 2023’s edition places a special focus on improving mental health at work, alongside the company’s work to promote physical health.
How to Adapt to the New Normal
A McKinsey survey discovered that during the COVID-19 pandemic employees across demographic groups and around the globe reported a remarkably similar set of challenges related to mental health, work–life balance, workplace health and safety, a missing sense of connection and belonging with colleagues, and concerns about job opportunities. In this “new normal”, people all over the world wondered how to best adapt to a new way of working.
Our colleagues asked us: ‘How do I best organize myself when working remotely? How do I best separate my work and private life when I’m working at home a lot more?’ or ‘How do I motivate myself to exercise enough when I’m not commuting to work as much as I used to?’
“Our colleagues asked us: ‘How do I best organize myself when working remotely? How do I best separate my work and private life when I’m working at home a lot more?’ or ‘How do I motivate myself to exercise enough when I’m not commuting to work as much as I used to?’” says Hannah Totenhagen, Health Manager at BIOTRONIK. With last year's health program, the team was able to address many of these questions – through different formats such as workshops and online trainings.
The program was well received: The average satisfaction rate was very high at over 70 percent. Overall, the offerings such as webinars, workshops and health screenings had more than 1,680 participants. “We were very happy to see that our colleagues are quite satisfied with both the support we currently offer as well as our general culture around health and well-being,” says Dr. Simone Ringsdorf, BIOTRONIK’s Head of Corporate Environment, Health and Safety—referring to a recent survey of Berlin-based employees. “But on a topic like workplace health, there’s always more you can do. 2023’s Health Program is designed with both physical and mental health as top, balanced priorities.”
We were very happy to see that our colleagues are quite satisfied with both the support we currently offer as well as our general culture around health and well-being.
What's on the Agenda for 2023?
The health managers touched on many topics in the past year. With the 2023 program, BIOTRONIK looks to delve even deeper into the issues. “We’re proud of the well-being culture we have at BIOTRONIK already. But for 2023, we knew we needed a program that was going to do that little bit extra to help our employees manage new stressors, stay motivated, and achieve that important balance between work and life,” says Simone Ringsdorf.
Alongside its support for employee sports groups for physical exercise such as the cycling team or team events such as STADTRADELN, BIOTRONIK’s 2023 Health Program includes mental health workshops focused on everything from time management, mindfulness, active listening, motivation under stress, and movement while working. “The topic of mental health is particularly important to me personally, because everything builds on it. The way we look at and evaluate things largely determines how we face challenging situations and use strategies for coping with them,” explains Juliane Petsche, Health Manager at BIOTRONIK. "With my background as a trained personal and business coach, I have various coaching methods at my disposal and can also use them in workshops for BIOTRONIK colleagues."
Since the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, which put the topic of employee wellbeing on the agenda for the first time in 1986, the awareness of the importance of the topic in the corporate world has increased significantly. However, in recent years, buzzwords such as mindfulness have often been overused. “Our intention is to respond to the actual needs of our colleagues – whether the issues are trendy or not – and offer useful tools that are easy to integrate into everyday life,” says Hannah Totenhagen.
Hands-on Tips Also for Non-Sports People
“One of our biggest goals is to give our employees advice and tips they can use immediately—either at work or in their daily lives,” says Juliane Petsche. “Whether it’s about how often you should get up and move a bit or how best to schedule your meetings to keep up your concentration—or even how you might respectfully tell your manager that you’re at the limit of your capacity, we’re focusing on tips our employees can use right away.” One of the well-received, low-threshold offers is the “Bewegte Pause,” where we encourage our employees to get up from their desks for 15 minutes and consciously exercise in the office.
One of our biggest goals is to give our employees advice and tips they can use immediately—either at work or in their daily lives.
Our Goal for 2023: Reach More Colleagues and Advocate for Health Awareness
Less absenteeism, more productivity and happier employees: Numbers show that everyone can benefit from company health programs. Therefore, one of the Health Team’s priorities for this year is getting the word out on what training and resources are available. For that, they’ve started a Teams channel specifically for exchanging tips on mental health work and posting when the next workshops are. At the moment, around a third of Berlin-based employees are subscribed to the channel. The team aims to increase that number to 80 percent by the end of the year.
“We’re learning more and more all the time about how much goes into creating a healthy and safe workplace,” says Dr. Ringsdorf. “Mental health has always been important to us but we’re really focusing on it on a whole new scale. We hope to reach more colleagues in 2023 and we’re very excited to see how our program ends up being received.”