People, The Heart Of Your Business

From humble beginnings back in the 50’s Swisse Vitamins has grown exponentially to dominate the Australian vitamin market. Swisse is an independent Australian company who pride themselves on producing scientifically validated products through vigorous research and clinical studies.

Despite their world-wide success, Swisse Vitamins maintains that the people are core with their main philosophy being the 4 P’s – People, Principles and Passion come before Profits. Swisse Vitamins also happens to be where many of my ideas for incorporating health and fitness into your business came from. 
Sitting at the head of this remarkable company is the GQ Businessman of the Year and Swisse CEO Mr Radek Sali. Graciously, Mr. Sali agreed to an interview about his people and the importance of their health and fitness in business.
Swisse Vitamins have always put their people first and over the past few years Mr Sali has promoted a strong health culture amongst his team. The new Swisse Head Office in Melbourne has a fully equipped gym complete with full time personal trainer. They run yoga classes on Mondays and have massages on Wednesdays. They also provide healthy organic breakfast and lunch for staff and H&H (healthier and happier) days allowing the team regular rejuvenation times. Their inter-state team members are provided a little extra to cover gym membership. This is an incredible example of promoting health and happiness in the workplace. Maybe you believe you couldn’t possibly afford that in your business. Well, as with everything in life, start small and set regular goals as the benefits far and beyond out-weigh any set-backs. Mr Sali is passionate about his team and since developing this healthy culture staff sick days have been halved and the biggest positive is ‘it makes the workplace aspirational’ which in turn attracts (and helps maintain) talented people to the business. The people really are the heart of Swisse Vitamins and despite their exceptional growth both here and overseas they understand that most of their staff’s time is spent in the workplace, so it must be conducive to health and wellness to promote positive outcomes for all. 
 Furthermore Mr Sali leads by example, as he trains in the gym four mornings and runs twice a week. If you believe you are too busy then take a leaf out of his book and set your alarm earlier in the morning. There is no better way to get your mind and body set for the day than a morning workout! With gyms now open 24 hours there really are no excuses, so find the time in your day. Take a chunk from the 80% of work that provides little return, work smarter instead of harder and get out there. I reiterate on previous articles, grab your diary, find time and write ‘workout’ – you can only regret those things in life that you let pass you by, you can’t regret trying.
Creating a healthy culture is about getting the ball rolling. Put the hard yards in at the start and get your staff on board person by person then before you know it the snowball effect has occurred and you have your very own happy and healthy work environment. It may not be easy but everything in life that is worth doing takes time and energy, kind of like a workout! Swisse Vitamins have always maintained people are the heart of their business and therefore it is essential to promote health and happiness among the team. They didn’t start on the grand scale that I have described today, this has developed through years of effort and passion. 
Central to the Swisse culture is their CLED motto, or ‘Celebrate Life Every Day’, a spirit that I am sure you agree is one we could all live by. So, find your motivation, unearth your passion and live your dream.
By Chad Islip

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