Mekky Media Relations, the boutique Chicago-based PR agency, believes that if its team does not feel connected to their work, their co-workers and themselves, then it can’t successfully embody the firm’s six core values: passion, commitment to excellence, trust, authenticity, creativity and teamwork.
Wellness is an essential part of those values, embedded in the agency’s culture since its founding in 2016. In fact, monthly well-being workshops are now an ongoing initiative at Mekky. The idea for the workshops came late in 2019, as the full-time staff began to grow. That growth raised the question: How can we offer something meaningful? For Mekky, that meant renting out the gym in its office building and providing guided yoga sessions with smoothie socials.
But when the pandemic hit, it forced a rethinking of the meaning of wellness. Monthly sessions took on new meaning with the hiring of two new full-time staffers, doubling the small full-time team. With the lockdown, the focus shifted to positivity, self-care, and health. Mekky provided various yoga and guided-meditation sessions. Then there was a guided cocktail demonstration. A group session featuring a mindset consultant provided employees with tools for self-awareness. There was a guided session on cultivating a sense of compassion, and 2021 started with a session from a chocolate expert discussing the healing properties of chocolate.
Since launching the wellness series, Mekky has seen employees talking more openly about taking time off and being honest about workload. It allowed the firm to expose other issues that were harder to share through a screen rather than in-person.