Companies often speak about employee health and wellness, but a startup seems to have gone ahead and put its mouth where the money is.
Zerodha has said that it’s giving away 1 month salary as a bonus to employees who met their fitness goals after the covid lockdown. “Post the first lockdown, like everywhere, our team Zerodha as a whole was probably the unhealthiest ever, due to the lack of physical activity, work-life imbalance, bad diet, & more,” tweeted Zerodha CEO Nithin Kamath.
But Zerodha seemed to have come up with an innovative way to fix the problem. “We thought of a way to nudge the team to get healthy and the results are phenomenal,” Kamath added. “On our internal forum, we asked everyone to set a 12-month get-healthy goal & update the progress every month, to create accountability. To increase participation, we said everyone who reaches the goal will get a 1-month salary as bonus & 1 lucky draw for Rs 10 lakh,” he added.
The 1-month salary bonus and the 10-lakh lucky prize seems to have worked. “The transformation stories are super inspiring & pushing others to take action as well. We also have proof that getting healthy improves professional performance as well. Our Get Healthy program will now run permanently,” Kamath added. He said that he hoped that other startups would also run similar programs.
It’s no surprise that Nithin Kamath has gone ahead and instituted a health and fitness program at Zerodha — in February, he’d himself shared a muscular and ripped selfie on Twitter. “I’ve always been fit but struggled to look fit due to my love for food & sweets. Got worse during the lockdown, added 7kgs & body fat of 27%. Changed things from Aug & now at 21%. The goal is 15% by this Aug. Sharing this like an 18yr old so have some pressure to get there,” he had tweeted.
Kamath now seems to want to make sure that his employees can show off similar bodies, and for good reason — several studies show how physical fitness rubs off on other aspects of life, and having a fit and healthy workforce will likely be more productive and better at their work. There’s no shortage of companies talking about health and fitness these days, and Zerodha seems to have gone ahead and generously incentivized employees to work out and meet their fitness goals. And if this trend catches on, like Nithin Kamath says he’d intended, it might be a win-win for India’s corporate workforce — they can end up being fitter, and also make some money while they’re at it.