Naturally, the Regional Director of a global program designed to improve employee health and wellbeing, has a few great tips for building a better business and a better you.

On 7th September, 2016, thousands of companies around the world — including The Working Capitol — are embarking on a 100-day program called the Global Corporate Challenge.

Part of the Virgin Pulse family, GCC works with businesses to improve the health and performance of their employees. By introducing an exciting and competitive element to healthier living, it aims to introduce positive and lasting change to the lives of employees, resulting in higher engagement and productivity at work.

John Garrido is its Regional Director of Asia, spending a lot of his time educating companies about the all-round benefits of investing in the well-being of their staff.

Before GCC, John served as General Manager of one of Australia’s leading exhibition organisers, where he struggled with his weight despite being a long-distance runner. Amidst long hours at work and the needs of a young family at home, he explains, “health was de-prioritised.” One day, he implemented the GCC for his team and experienced what it could do first hand; later, he connected with its CEO and the rest became history.

We talk to John and pick up five great tips for building a better business and you.

Address your toughest audience

“Businesses are increasingly offering well-being choices to employees, from subsidised gym memberships and fun-run entries to Zumba and meditation classes. But they soon realise that while those who would have paid for these offerings anyway are showing up, the ones who need it the most, aren’t. Our challenge was implementing something that would appeal to the most sedentary and disengaged employee.”

By repositioning corporate well-being as a fun and valuable part of people’s lives, and making the program as accessible as possible, GC shoots to convert its most resistant user.

The importance of leadership

Want a company culture you can be proud of? Embody it — especially if you’re at the top of the organisation. “The odds of implementing an effective and sustainable well-being strategy are infinitely improved when there is buy-in from senior management,” John’s observed.

Always deliver

“Always deliver, because you can never underestimate the power of reputation. 90 percent of our clients come from referrals from leaders or participants sharing their stories; someone who joined the program this year was inspired by a 2012 blog post about the experience. You simply cannot have a strong referral network if you don’t deliver.”

Prioritise and clarify

Unsurprisingly, John is a self-professed early riser, making time for exercise, his boys, and ten minutes of meditation before heading to The Working Capitol. There, with his team, he reviews “what we will deliver for the day before we all saddle up and get into it.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

Redesigning your lifestyle sounds like an intimidating exercise to take on, but John assures us it’s as simple as to just “keep moving” (and cites the Martin Luther King Jr. quote above for emphasis.)

“Think of any and every opportunity to move instead of staying stationary.” One suggestion: “Get up at least once per hour to walk to the fountain and fill your water glass — you’ll get extra steps and stay hydrated.” He adds, “Take the steps every time, but most of all, make it seriously fun!”

The Global Corporate Challenge has changed the lives of over two million people for good. Join the global movement.

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