- Zappos has partnered with Fender on Strum for the Sole, an employee wellness program that provides workers with a Fender music learning app and instruments available in a jam room on Zappos' campus.
- The companies believe the program will harness the "healing powers of learning an instrument" and encourage work-life balance by allowing employees to reduce stress and increase their creativity and confidence through the program, a press statement said.
- Citing neuroscientist and author Daniel Levitin, Fender noted that learning an instrument has emotional and health benefits, and can grow peoples' patience, confidence and persistence over time.
Employee wellness is top of mind for most employers, as many have seen that cultivating a healthy workforce leads to productivity over time. Wellness initiatives are going beyond providing gym access and health education, and a majority of organizations currently offer at least some benefits in the wellness category, according to an Optum survey.
The Fender and Zappos initiative seems to reflect the belief that mental health programs and physical health benefits are both necessary. In addition, as organizations take a more holistic approach to wellness, some have taken note that financial stressors and junk food offerings at the office often contribute to poor employee wellness. For many workers, employer's healthcare efforts are not meeting their needs for multi-pronged, wellness-focused initiatives.
Some employees have said the pressure to be constantly on call can result in a culture that says they can never unplug. A majority of workers said in a CareerCast survey that they're more stressed today than they were only two years ago, and a lack of access to resources to control their stress levels has cost organizations billions in lost productivity according to a Colonial Life study. HR professionals might need to identify the root cause of their workforces' stressors to determine which wellness initiatives they will invest in most.