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Interview with Nick Schacht
Chief Commercial Officer, SHRM


As an esteemed professional in the field of Human Resources, how do you define employee wellness?

Employee wellness is a given employees fitness to work. Ask yourself: Is the employee able to perform their role without being distracted or inhibited by any external factors, whether they are physical or mental health-related? The employer’s responsibility is to create a workplace that supports employee wellness and provides employees with resources to address challenges that may impact their wellness.

“I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for 42 years, and this requires certain lifestyle adaptations that are crucial to my health.”

Personally, I need a workplace where I have the ability to manage my physical activities in a way that supports effective blood sugar management, and insurance benefits that support proper care of my health. It is also important to ensure that I have a rhythm of stress control by pacing myself correctly and taking care to not exacerbate diabetic symptoms with excess stress, especially in such a demanding role. 

In your opinion, what role does personal health and wellness play in overall employee engagement and productivity?

Typically, if people are managing all aspects of wellness effectively, they tend to be happier, more effective, and less drained. If you don’t take care of your health, you increase the chance of something bad happening that will take you off-line for a while. These drastic events will pull you away from the office for longer than if you dedicated time to exercising, attending doctors appointments, and maintaining healthy habits. People who are in control of their health and wellness appear to be in more control of their professional life. 

How do you encourage employees to take care of their own wellness while still prioritizing the organization’s goals and objectives?

Sensitivity to individual circumstances and needs goes a long way. If you notice someone is “off their game”, while respecting their confidentiality, ask if there is anything that is interfering with their ability to perform. The other aspect is ensuring that employees are educated on the resources that are offered to them. Many times, employees are not aware of the resources available to help support wellness issues. Lastly, supporting flexibility and understanding the importance of allowing time to promote health will encourage employees to make good wellness choices. If someone is having a health issue, a good leadership strategy is to encourage them to get it checked out. Actionably showing employees that you are looking out for their wellbeing goes a long way in showing that you value employee wellness. People often feel guilty for taking time off of work for health-related reasons. It’s incredibly important to let employees know that it is their duty to take care of themselves, first and foremost.

Reflecting on your own journey with wellness, what is the most valuable lesson you have learned that you would like to share with others seeking to improve their wellbeing, personally and professionally? 

Take time to prioritize yourself. We are often burdened with satisfying others, and we do not make ourselves enough of a priority. As I have gotten older, I have realized that if I don’t make myself a priority, then who will?

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