Preventive healthcare pays off
People who feel good – both physically and mentally – do a better job
“Let your heart guide your career and your brain your lifestyle,” says Maria Zalamans of Nordnet. If you check out her business card, you’ll see the title HR manager. That means she is responsible for the human resources of the company. In other words, the people.
Nordnet is a Swedish brokerage firm with 270 employees in six countries. It is the type of company in which the employees are the key to success. Here, there are no machines spitting out products around the clock. The better the employees, the greater the chances of the company succeeding. That’s why it’s only natural that Maria Zalamans is also part of the management team.
The finance industry has a reputation for taking its toll on its (often young) workers. The average age at Nordnet is 32. But despite the low levels of sick leave, Maria is convinced that there a great deal stress and bad habits lie hidden under the surface with many. The problem with young people is that they sometimes forget to take care of themselves in their zest to perform well. That’s why it’s necessary that the company management emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle and even serves as a role model.
“We offer all of our employees membership in World Class and we make sure a decent breakfast and fruit are available for them at work,” explains Maria Zalamans. “Management offers the conditions and opportunities for employees to take care of themselves and we bring up issues dealing with living a healthy lifestyle. Then, it’s up to each individual to take advantage of what we offer.”
People who feel good – both physically and mentally – do a better job. It’s as simple as that according to Maria, who considers herself an example of that. Because she’s worked out ambitiously over the years, she has been able to handle stress and stringent demands while doing what it takes to manage her private life with three teenage children.
Nordnet has a clear health policy modeled on World Class Total Care. This means healthcare, check-ups, preventive healthcare and exercise all come from the same supplier. Having access to a doctor or nurse where you go to workout is appealing to Maria, who thinks it’s a more stimulating environment than a hospital or medical center.
At the time of the interview, we were in the middle of a financial crisis we had never seen the like of before. Naturally, this has affected most companies. Everyone is scrutinizing costs and anything that is easy to get rid of disappears first. Preventive healthcare costs could easily be an example of such. But Nordnet takes the opposite approach.
“In difficult times, it’s even more important to focus on fitness and health to have both mental and physical stamina,” says Maria Zalamans. “Previously, everyone over 35 underwent checkups. Starting next year, all employees will have that option. We do this to catch any ill health in time. Sick leave is not problematic here. On the contrary, our problem lies with young, ambitious employees who show up to work despite being sick.”
Employers are allowed to give their employees a gym membership.There is no fixed amount allowed for this. It varies from location to location. But, when Nordnet wanted to add a few pairs of sneakers to further encourage people to exercise, the Swedish Tax Office came back with a resounding NO – that would be taxed as a benefit. Maria would love a more generous approach. 50 percent Nordnet’s employees have opted for a World Class membership and another 15 percent have taken preventive healthcare contribution in another form. Many also exercise regularly, either in the facility next door to the office in Alvik or at a facility close to home. According to Maria, proximity is key. It must be easy to get to the fitness center.
She also has a few particularly important tips for employers who want their preventive healthcare efforts to pay off. Create the best conditions possible for the employees, particularly in bad times. It’s best to have a whole array of opportunities so everyone can find what works best for them. Managers should try to be good role models – eat right, exercise, take a walk instead of sitting in a conference room if possible. The benefits that managers will see are clear – healthy and happy employees are more productive and thereby more profitable. That’s easy enough, isn’t it?
Jobspin.cz Job Fair powered by Prague.TV presents job opportunities for expats by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Speakers and consultants will also offer help on what people should do to find the best job
Hackers Congress to meet in Prague by Prague.TV
This September, Paralelni Polis 2016 will bring world cryptoanarchy leaders to Holešovice
10 Coworking Spaces in Prague by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV (Foto: hubpraha.cz)
A look at Prague's shared working venues
Dalai Lama to give public lecture in Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Tickets go on sale Sept. 1 at noon for his talk on secular ethics
Registration for Forum 2000 starts by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Member of the public can attend many of the events, but must register before the deadline
The Dalai Lama to visit Prague for the Forum 2000 Conference by Prague.TV
Forum 2000 - Prague, October 16-19
PIAF 2016: Prague’s 7th International Advertising Festival (April 26-27) by Emily Prucha - Prague.TV
Mingle with creative talents at a two-day boutique festival with a sports marketing focus
Shareholder Expectations vs. 21st Century Market Dynamics by PragueConnect.cz
The Leadership Series: In-depth Discussions with the Leaders Who are Defining the Future
International HORECA Summit to be Hosted in Prague by Horeca
International HORECA Summit - Czech Republic on November 26th and 27th, 2015
Modern Sports Marketing Solutions by Prague.TV / Prague Monitor (PTV Media s.r.o.)
Marketing solutions with the most successful hockey club in the Czech Republic
Kids Indoor Playground in Prague 5, OC Zlicin
1.80 CZK / Minute to / in Czech Republic, Austria, Germany,...
Business gourmet club offering its members 30% off total à...
Personal Assistant who SAVES YOUR TIME and NERVES. Just ask...
Translator and interpreter of the English language
AB InBev in the Czech Republic
GEP is a diverse, creative team of people passionate about...
Singles events in Prague oriented towards singles who are...