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Look at me: calm, focused and refreshed!

Earlier this week, Salesforce gave all of our employees the opportunity to take a day to stop and center themselves at our second annual Day of Mindfulness. The day included an interactive workshop (designed by Wisdom Labs) to help employees explore simple, practical, and science-based mindfulness skills, a keynote from Google's “Jolly Good Fellow” Chade-Meng Tan, and guided meditations.

The timing couldn't have been better. Our teams left it all on the field to put on an incredible Dreamforce for our customers, and this week begins a demanding sprint to finish the year strong. So, what better time to invite our employees to press pause and think about their wellbeing, both inside of and outside of the office.

Of course, there was a glaring hurdle to make this a possibility: how do you make sure everyone can take a day off in the middle of the week?

We work hard to make sure our employees know that when we say we value Wellbeing, it's more than just talk. Our employees' wellness is fundamental to the health of our company. We work hard to ensure there are tangible programs in place that support an atmosphere where everyone feels they have permission to do what is best for their wellbeing. Afterall, we can’t expect our employees to take care of our customers if they aren’t first taking care of themselves.

We are on a wellbeing journey, and we’ve made great strides this year bringing that value to life. We rolled out the Press Pause series, where industry luminaries come to our offices to inspire our employees with stories of wellness; we launched the Aloha Wellness Journey, an email journey that helps employees focus on small, daily wellness wins; we have dedicated thousands of square feet across our campuses for Mindful Zones, where people can go to unplug and refuel their creative juices. We're learning as we go, but we've lit a spark… as evidenced by this year's Day of Mindfulness seats selling out in under an hour. (Enter the video crew to live stream the session to more than 1,000 online viewers!)

But even with all sorts of amazing programs, the critical element to employees feeling they really do have permission to participate is their manager.

At Salesforce, we have found that when managers take ownership of a value and lead by example, it creates happier and healthier teams. For instance, I created a goal on my V2MOM, our annual business planning process, to take six wellbeing afternoons off this year to do something nice for myself, whether it's a yoga class, a hike, a massage, or something else I enjoy. And, it's important that I do that in an open and transparent way, so my team is encouraged to give themselves permission to also do whatever they need to do to take care of themselves.

Wellbeing is not just a “nice to have.” We know our whole Ohana — our customers, our partners, our employees and our communities — will benefit if everyone who took the time to decompress Tuesday went home feeling relaxed, inspired, and ready to have a happy and healthy end of the year.

I know I did... check out that smile!

About the Author

Jody Kohner is the Vice President of the Employee Marketing & Engagement team at Salesforce. The span of her work ranges from managing the employer brand reputation and recruitment marketing initiatives through on-boarding new hires and all sorts of awesome programs designed to make employees love their job. Connect with her on Twitter at @JodyKohner.