How an organisation encouraged employees to quit smoking


Bengaluru-based Ozone Group has launched a programme urging its employee to quit smoking and lose weight and in lieu of the same, it has offered hefty financial rewards.

Six employees of a Bengaluru-based real estate company quit smoking this year. No big deal one would think. Isn’t it? However, what makes this incident unique is the fact that all these employees quit smoking as part of an initiative launched by their company.

In February this year, Bengaluru-based Ozone Group launched a programme for its employees to stay healthy and fit. It urged them to quit smoking and lose weight. In lieu of the same, it offered hefty financial rewards to those who could finally make it happen.

Initially, 18 employees participated in the quit smoking programme, out of which only six could finally give up smoking for good. Six months later, the employees had to undergo a cotinine test at one of the leading hospital chains. Those tested negative, were declared winners and awarded a cash bonus of Rs 1 lakh each.

Srinivasan Gopalan, CEO, Ozone Group, says, “I personally observed that a large percentage of employees were habitual smokers and I have been a strong advocate of non-smoking. So I had a strong desire to get the employees to quit smoking completely and lead a healthy lifestyle.”

“This propagation was a positive gesture for employees to participate in this moral initiative in the interest of their own health, family’s health, health of co-workers and the environment. And finally, six families are leading a healthier life now,” he adds.

The company believes that this small initiative has played an effective role in motivating the workforce. “Yes, definitely! Employees are motivated to balance their personal and professional lifestyles effectively and enjoy improved health too,” Gopalan quips.

The success of the quit smoking programme encouraged the company to launch yet another programme on employee wellness.

On Independence Day, earlier this year, the company launched a programme for its employees to get rid of excess lipid layers.

Around 116 employees participated in this programme, and the 27 employees who were identified to be in the high-risk zone were chosen for the final contest. The finalists were to follow a strict diet and regimen, with no permission for any medication or surgery. The company has gone all out to help the selected employees, by organising and arranging for, medical fitness check-ups, periodic monitoring and physician support, diet counselling with diet charts, routine exercise sessions with physiotherapists, call centre support on diet management, pedometer on exercise management, and periodic reports on weight management.

The employee who loses the optimum weight is determined by a panel of doctors, from a leading hospital. On completion of this six months’ programme, the top three participants are rewarded Rs 2 lakh, Rs 1 Lakh and Rs 50,000 as the first, second and third prizes, respectively.

The company seems to be making some serious efforts to keep its employees satisfied. It provides medical insurance for the employees and their family members including parents. Personal accident insurance cover is also provided for the employees. Scientific career counselling is offered to the employees’ children studying in standards 9, 10, 11 and 12 through a programme called ‘Margdarshan’ using comprehensive psychometric testing. Academically bright children are encouraged by providing education sponsorship to the top rank holders.

To upgrade its Zero Grade Staff and facilitate their movement up the hierarchy, the company has tied up with specialised institutes for special classes in English language. To help them in entrepreneurship, the company contributes towards their endeavours as well.

The company also provides self-defense training — KravMaga (an Israeli self-defense technique)— to all its women employees through a programme called ‘Power to Women’.

In addition, to appreciate employees who take initiative and transcend their normal duties and responsibilities, the company offers the Q STAR (Special Thanks and Recognition) award. Those who make special contribution towards innovation, change, cost cutting, helpfulness and give practical suggestions for business improvement are awarded the Q Star Plaque.

Ask Gopalan about what the company achieves through these initiatives, and he says, “Enhanced health, fitness, wellness and confidence levels across the organisation.”


  1. Does it mean to say that the company allowed some of its its employees to smoke while at work , despite the government ruling about no – smoking norms everywhere, includng at home .
    Or did they monitor them with their personal time to ensure that they give up smoking .Then it is worth the trouble taken by the CEO

  2. Good initiative, it is required for all the organisations. Will you please try to stop drinking. It is also equally danger for health. It is slow poison and slowly takes away many lives. Now a days widow number is increasing day by day because of alcohol consumption. So you may check this also in you org.

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