MONTREAL — In his January 2012 editorial, Harvard Business Review editor Adi Ignatius offers this query: Are happy workforces in fact more productive?

In one article after another, the answer is a predictable, resounding YES.

Creating Sustainable Performance, by Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porah, makes the case that happy employees consistently outperform unhappy ones. No great surprise there. The message to remember is what constitutes “happy.” According to Spreitzer and Porah, it’s all about thriving, not about contentment.

It’s about being highly engaged, constantly learning and avoiding burnout. How to do that?

Just ask Montrealer Scott Simons, president and founder of Organik Sante Corporative.

Simons’s decade-long experience as a yoga teacher, personal trainer and health coach led him to create Organik in 2006. Asked initially to provide stress-reducing health breaks for Radio Canada’s employees, Simons recognized an unmet need in the corporate world and his company was born.

Working with a network of professionals that extends from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, Organik provides assistance to corporations looking to boost employee health and wellness.

According to Simons, performance at the office starts with health at the office. “Employees who are in shape are more productive, are able to make more efficient decisions, and are better organized and better equipped to face daily stresses and pressures.”

Organik customizes its services to fit company and employee needs. Services range from nutrition consultations to conferences, group fitness classes, fitness evaluations and health breaks.

The health break consists of a 10-, 15- or 20-minute session for an employee that centres around one of nine themes: nutrition; time management; relaxation; overall health; kinesiology; ergonomics; stress management; motivation; and teamwork. Designed to maximize benefit without requiring a change of clothes, the health break is by far Organik’s most popular offering.

Clients include Desjardins, Autorite des Marches Financiers, Standard Life, Sid Lee, The Royal Bank, Cofely Services and the CBC.

Shawn Achor, in his HBR article Positive Intelligence, writes of the research he conducted with tax managers just before tax season. Simple new habits such as 10 minutes of exercise a day, two minutes of journal writing and sending a positive message to a colleague resulted in “significantly higher scores in optimism and life satisfaction. Even briefly engaging in just one positive activity during the workday can have a significant effect on levels of stress reduction and overall happiness.”

Well, Scott, you’re on to something. To learn more, check out www.beorganik.ca.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/healthy+office+happy+office+says+yoga+teacher/6307519/story.html

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