Cadila relaunches employee wellness programme, ‘Soul Mantra’; focuses on loneliness

Besides the physical body, Soul Mantra now focuses on the mind – which sharpens intelligence – emotional and social wellbeing, and also spiritual wellness

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Last week, HRKatha had raised the issue of loneliness at the workplace and how it is impacting both the employee and the employers.

It’s now a serious concern for organisations across sectors. According to a study by Cigna, loneliness costs employers in the US more than $154 billion per year due to loss of productivity and absenteeism.

On June 25, Ahmedabad-based Pharma major, Cadila relaunched its employee wellness programme – Soul Mantra – and this programme now intensely focusses on ‘loneliness at work’.

Kinjal Choudhary, CHRO, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, shares with HRKatha, “The programme ‘Soul Mantra’ has been there, in the organisation, for long years, but the focus was limited to physical wellbeing of employees. Now with this re-launch, the company is trying to focus on all four dimensions of employee wellbeing.”

Besides the physical body, Soul Mantra now focuses on the mind – which sharpens intelligence – emotional and social wellbeing, and also spiritual wellness.

“Our belief is that every human being brings her whole self to work – heart, body, mind and spirit and it is not just the hands and legs,” asserts Choudhary.

As part of social wellbeing, the company has identified that employees do go through the problem of loneliness at work. The renewed wellness programme has been launched for the manufacturing and R&D facilities of the company, which comprises almost 50 per cent of the workforce.

“Having friends at work increases retention and engagement in employees. Moreover, it also helps in increasing productivity”

Kinjal Choudhary, CHRO, Cadila Pharmaceuticals

As per Choudhary, before re-launching ‘Soul Mantra,’ the HR team had gone back to the employees to take some feedback and one of the issues that cropped up was loneliness at work.

As part of enabling employees to have friends at work, the company has organised various group talks and individual talks in the company to encourage people to have at least one person with whom one can spend time with at work.

“There has to be someone at work with whom you can talk to. Not just about work, but casually as well,” mentions Choudhary.

Choudhary believes that generally people do have someone at work as friends, but sometimes it is difficult for some employees to make friends at work.

“It would be very difficult to drive such a thing if it was a mandate for employees to have friends at work. It can be only done through small talks and internal communication.”

The company has asked its managers to be vigilant and observant of such cases, and in case they find any such incident or case, they should speak and encourage that person to find a friend at work.

“Having friends at work increases retention and engagement in employees. Moreover, it also helps in increasing productivity,” adds Choudhary.

Apart from focussing on social wellbeing of employees, the second key highlight of the ‘Soul Mantra’ programme is where the company is encouraging employees to have a passion outside work, be it dancing, singing, painting, gardening or anything else which provides happiness.

The idea is to help the person find relaxation. “There are some activities in life, during which we do not count time-spent. They help us rejuvenate and act as a recharging point,” opines Choudhary.

To encourage other employees, the HR and the internal communication team finds and shares similar stories of leaders from within the organisation.

For instance, Cadila’s plant HR head, Himanshi Jain finds peace in painting. “From my busy schedule, I do find time for art which helps nurture my soul. When I am painting, for those few hours my mind is completely focused on the canvas and I let my creativity take complete control of myself. This helps me in coming back re-charged and reignited to deliver my best at work,” Jain shares with HRKatha.

Choudhary says that enabling people to find friends or identifying a passion is a big culture change and building activity and will take time to develop these behaviours over the period of time.

As part of ‘Soul Mantra,’ Cadila is also focusing on controlling stress management at work and has organised focussed workshops on the same.

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