- The recently launched app combines meditation, fitness, behavioral science, and recipe recommendations in an easy-to-use platform, sponsored by companies, but private for employees.
MindFirst Health & Fitness, Inc. announced the launch of its new holistic health app today as a potential antidote to rising employee stress, burnout, healthcare costs, and turnover. Offered through a highly reduced payroll deduction rate through corporate sponsorship, employees can fully support all aspects of their well-being in a private manner but with the benefit and ease of payroll deduction.
It’s no secret that the last two years have been enormously challenging for workers as well as workplaces. Fourty-One Percent of U.S. adults report anxiety and depression symptoms (up from 11% in 2019), 13% reported new or increased substance use due to covid-related stress, and 70% of all caregivers reported symptoms of anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation. Not surprisingly, this increased stress has led to burnout, and ultimately increased turnover. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021 alone, part of a wave of “great resigners.”
Those who are leaving their jobs are often leaving for more caring cultures. For example, when “employees feel cared for,” 60% plan to stay at their company for three plus years (as opposed to only 7% of those who don’t feel cared for).
Employers are seeking solutions – hoping to find the golden recipe to fully support employee well-being and prevent costly resignations. MindFirst aims to be this solution.
MindFirst President and Founder Robert Jacobs became interested in employee wellness following decades of working in the employee benefit industry, watching first hand as employers struggled to find the right corporate wellness programs for their employees. These programs were often piece-meal approaches that separated mental and physical health needs while not supporting individual health for the long-term. This leaves both employees and employers dissatisfied.
“Our program is holistic, focusing on helping people find what they enjoy about a healthy lifestyle.” Explains Mr. Jacobs, “To make permanent, lasting changes, you have to alter the way you think about exercise and food, and mindfulness is the foundation for this change. This program is built entirely around the philosophy that a healthy lifestyle starts with the MindFirst.”
To create this multi-pronged approach, Mr. Jacobs pulled together experts in the areas of nutrition, health, psychology, mindfulness, and fitness. Mary Kate Keyes, Nutritionist and Clinical Instructor in Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, and MindFirst Director of Nutrition and Wellness, has grown disillusioned with weight loss programs and brings her vision of a mindful approach to food to the program. She joins Dr. Shauna Shapiro, PhD, best-selling author, professor, clinical psychologist and MindFirst Advisor, Meditation and Mindfulness; Dr. Wayne Wescott, renowned author of over 20 books on fitness and MindFirst Advisor, Fitness; and accredited health and wellness coach, mindfulness teacher, group fitness instructor, and MindFirst Community Health Coach, Stephanie Wagner, NBC-HWC, as the core group who form the nexus of the program.
“We’re stressed out and eating poorly – of course our health is suffering.” says Ms. Keyes, ”We all need a little support right now. With MindFirst we’re here to be that wise friend that gives you a helping hand in the midst of chaos. I think of us as nourishment – for the mind, body and self. We could all use a little nourishment these days.”
Development and Branding of the holistic health app has been led by wellness-technology veterans, Kelly Gatzke, Chief Executive Officer, and Jocelyn Harmon, Chief Marketing Officer, previously VP of Product and VP of Marketing (respectively) at Healthy Minds Innovations, producer of the acclaimed Healthy Minds Program app, recently named one of the best meditation apps of 2021 by New York Times’ WireCutter.
“It’s the natural evolution in wellness. Our minds and bodies are connected – our well-being programs should be as well.” says Ms. Gatzke.
The majority of MindFirst app users will come through a sponsored corporate program at a highly reduced rate, similar to other health benefits. But anyone can download the app on the Google Play or Apple App Store by the end of the month. Given the current workplace climate, it may be the benefit that provides a company with the upper hand in recruitment and retention.
“It’s no longer if you support the physical and emotional health of your staff – it’s how and when.” adds Ms. Gatzke. “MindFirst is the whole package – and when is now.”
HR Technology News: HR Technology Highlights – HR Tech Daily Round-Up For 25-March-2022