Wondering about the future of the corporate fitness experience? It’s already here at the GYM at adidas headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. With an outdoor athletic training area, the ‘hub’ for training sessions, the ‘little gym’ for more private workouts, classrooms for group exercise and indoor cycling, a CrossFit box, and areas designed for relaxation sessions, there’s room for everyone.
But what’s really unique about the adidas GYM isn’t the equipment or the classes. It’s the way it encourages adidas employees to embrace the culture of sport.
Inspiring a sport-based workplace culture
When it comes to creating a culture of wellness, companies can’t just supply the resources. They have to get employee buy-in. After all, what good does a state-of-the-art gym do if it’s empty?
So adidas leaned on EXOS’ experience working with elite athletes and everyday working populations to influence the outfitting of the space, and also asked EXOS to run the adidas GYM. The expansion of the GYM makes it clear that adidas leadership encourages living the brand.
Now that it’s in full swing, employees are encouraged to work out. This no-guilt, self-care culture means employees can take advantage of the convenient, on-site facility, and easily integrate exercise into their day at the office.
But as any adidas employee can tell you, the culture of sport is felt far beyond the walls of the fitness center, no matter where they’re working. Board-led initiatives, future leader groups, and future talented athlete groups are all ways employees can engage with co-workers and the EXOS staff to bring sport into their lives on a personal level. One such example is an upcoming women’s networking event, where the EXOS team will be leading a seminar on purposeful performance.
Employees also benefit from the integration of sport outside of working hours by applying lessons they’ve learned from the EXOS staff, or just feeling more energized to spend time with their kids.
Bringing the team together
Fully engaging with everything the adidas GYM has to offer helps employees do more than just get fit. It also allows them to build camaraderie with co-workers in new ways. In the fitness facility they can build on the culture of sport and form connections with employees from all different departments, in a non-work-related context that a happy hour or holiday party just can’t match.
That’s why business unit team training is an important part of the programming at the GYM. And because it’s adidas, these sessions go beyond regular team building and into inspiration for their jobs. They can see how athletes move in real context, and even try out prototypes or new products. “The training authenticates the ideas that they’re coming up with,” says Dai.
Not just a gym
In the end, the GYM isn’t about improving physical performance for performance’s sake. It’s about giving employees the energy they need to pursue their goals outside of work and be able to give 100% both on and off the clock.
“We help adidas employees improve performance, whether that’s sport performance or leading an active life with their children — anything that a person chooses to do that brings them joy,” says Dai. That joy often translates to better job performance, or whatever the employee wants to accomplish.
That attention to individual goals is what sets the adidas GYM experience apart, according to Markus A. Kuerten, Head of Compliance at adidas. “The EXOS team takes great care in making sure you train right for what you want to achieve and will set you on the right path and accompany you along the way.”
With the mantra, ‘Through sport, we have the power to change lives’, it’s easy to see that adidas believes being active is more than just the hour you might spend in a gym each day. It becomes a way of life for those that truly live the brand.