Some particular disease has visited every age in our history. There was plague, pox, polio, pneumonia; we have been able to control most, only by eliminating the deadly causes and correcting the environmental conditions.

In today’s modern society too, a characteristic disease exists and that is called Corporate Fever, a major contributor to disturbances in one’s family, social and official life. It inhibits creativity and professional effectiveness, which is obvious in our day-to-day life. 

Every day, executives are bombarded with board and staff meetings, departmental and sales meetings, meetings with distributors, retailers and customers. Meetings have become the black holes of the modern corporate world.
If companies are able to reduce stress, anxiety and mental and physical strain, they would be able to retain efficient employees and attract better ones. This will only improve the company’s own health

The high-end, brain drain sessions actually leave executives with much heavier heads and a fatigued body, more so in cases where responsibilities of the chair is greater and concern about self-health and fitness is least. Besides the official burden, there are family and social commitments, irregular eating habits, inadequate sleep and otherwise hectic lifestyles that are even more devastating.

Most of us are threatened by the vary lives we are leading today!

Chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac ailments, alcohol, smoking and drug abuse, stress, sexual perversions are all leading us to an unending path of destruction.

Much valuable time and energy is wasted and swallowed as the ozone hole is doing to our atmosphere.

Most of the corporates have understood the physical aspect of this problem hence various fitness and wellness programmes have come up to ensure an improved quality of life for their executives. They know that healthy employees are among their important assets and that they need to protect them.

But while fitness centre memberships have become an integral part of corporate life, the stress levels aren’t coming down. Executives do visit these centres, or are forced to do so, but their minds remain still distracted, diverted and involved somewhere else. This disturbance does not let them relax at all.

Why does it happen? 

It is very important to understand that 70%-80% of our diseases are psychosomatic, {psyche is mind, soma is body} and their primary causes are our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs. The mind translates/transfers to the body. What psychosomatic actually means is that the major source of the illness lies in one’s emotional/mental/perceptual and behavioural habits.

The way corporates function (mind games), the cut throat competition, ever-increasing expectations and high goals that are laid for us by corporate heads (that gets passed down the line), on the one hand and the restrictive trade practices, (the MCD demolition phase these days), the ever increasing taxes laid down by the government, unemployment, retrenchments, the receding economy on the other hand, create an extra burden on corporate, backfiring on the poor executives. 

One can’t get stabilised in these situations easily, rather we get conditioned to react to such an environment that leads to internal physiological changes, which either evolve into a disease or allow the diseased state to exist.

This requires an absolutely fit person, not only physically fit but also mentally fit too, to overcome such challenging situations. A complete makeover, i.e. life style, eating habits and attitudes need modification, change and upgrade. An external healing touch is most important.

It is, therefore, imperative for corporate heads to address the real cause/s. 

Create a congenial working environment first {besides making fitness centres, as is commonly done in most cases}, abolish lengthy procedures, boring and extended meetings and restrict hierarchy (check and control politics).

Cultivate quick and decisive systems. Convert the short-term goals to medium term, increasing the duration of each term if possible, without compromising with the ultimate goal of the company. Give every person breathing space. 

An efficient personnel department, regular medical checkups, one-on-one counselling sessions, ironing out their personal problems related to health and fitness, besides their appraisals, rewards and encouragement to worthy and corrections of official inadequacies, if any.

Group therapies, in-house or outdoors, have proved to be very successful as far as the improvement in interpersonal relationships and skill enhancement is concerned.

Sufficient time and resources need to get utilised in enhancing and maintaining their sound mental health too. Consulting recognised faculty or empanelling genuine health and fitness service centres would help solve the problem. 

There could be many more such preventive measures that are specific to different corporate setups that can get incorporated for their mutual benefit.

It will also prevent them turning to self-help books or take recourse to religion and to various so called ‘pop-teachers’ to find a solution to this deep-felt mental/physical dissatisfaction, which could ultimately lead them into distraction.

Following this procedure, corporates can certainly improve their productivity, reduce their medical claims, compensations and rehabilitation costs. A little expenditure towards their employees in the right and positive direction will ensure an enriching recruitment process, reduced absenteeism and improved morale.

If companies are able to reduce stress, anxiety and mental and physical strain, they would be able to retain efficient employees and attract better ones. This will only improve the company’s own health.

May 2006

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