Healthy Employees are Vital to Workplace Culture

 Healthy Employees are Vital to Workplace Culture

Our research has proven that having a physically safe and emotionally and psychologically healthy experience at work is key to creating a great place to work for all. Above and beyond those basics, Best Workplaces are always looking for creative new ways to help their people live strong and healthy lives and prevent problems before they start. In this blog post we review some health and wellness practices from US-based companies to reveal how great cultures create a culture of vitality and well-being for everyone.

Navigating Health
Recognizing that managing health plan benefits and your own health isn’t always easy, Acuity, a midsize insurance company operating in twenty-two states, offers two unique benefits to employees enrolled in the health plan, Advocate4Me and Nurse Line. Acuity wants employees to feel comfortable with the health care they purchase, which is why Acuity pays 100% of this service for our employees. With these services employees have help understanding benefits and claims, finding new doctors, hospitals, and specialists, making sense of bills, estimating treatment costs, chatting with a nurse to discuss a medical condition and locating available local resources.

Making it Fun
At consulting firm, Accenture, employees have fun and stay fit through Fitness Scavenger Hunts. Local offices gather together and assign teams of three to four people to explore their city for clues, stopping to take photos in front of well-known or historical landmarks, while getting some fresh air and exercise in the process! Teams earn points based on the number of photos they collect and are eligible for the scavenger hunt prize—a Fitbit for each team member. Teams typically leave the Accenture office during afternoon working hours and return to the office for a happy hour where healthy appetizers and smoothies are served, photos are shared in a slideshow and the winning team is announced.

Awarding Prizes
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America hosted the World Run challenge as an initiative to encourage health and well-being within the entire global Allianz community. Runners from each Allianz location around the world, including Allianz Life, track their miles to compete to be the top female or male runner at their respective company. The winners at each office earn a free trip to Munich, Germany. Trip activities include running tours of the city, watching the Munich Marathon, hiking, a free running analysis, and more! In addition to a shot at the grand prize, those who log miles for the competition also have the opportunity to access some other cool benefits, including free Allianz-branded Under Armour gear.

The cherry on top of it all? For every “trip around the world” milestone that Allianz employees collectively log, Allianz donates to SOS Children’s Villages. For those employees who aren’t runners, the company designed a special wild card option. After completing at least six different company activities that support their physical, financial, and social well-being, employees are invited to submit a short essay about the lessons they learned. They are then eligible to be one of three winners of $500 in prizes.

Health Goals
Employees at Acceleration Partners set personal health and wellness goals and, when achieved, they are reimbursed for the expense. The program is designed to create accountability to help each individual make progress towards personal health in a way that is meaningful and important to them.

Incentives for Taking Action
The wellness program at Assurance allows employees to tailor their wellness goals and incentives to their individual needs and desires. Employees can earn up to $500 per year by living our wellness philosophy of “Know it. Prevent it. Do it.” Throughout the year, employees accumulate points for completing biometric screenings (know it); practicing preventive medicine by receiving annual physicals, dental exams and eye exams (prevent it); and exercising, participating in Assurance-sponsored wellness challenges and more (do it). Toward the end of the year, employee wellness points are converted into wellness dollars to be deposited into employee HSAs or spent on qualified wellness expenses, such as gym memberships, fitness equipment and more.

Combining Health and Philanthropy
Keller Schroeder combines wellness with community/philanthropic support. Employees track exercise minutes in a custom mobile and web application. If employee-owners meet their monthly goal, they are entered in a drawing. Winners receive contributions to a local community charity on their behalf in addition to fitness related prizes. In 2016 the organization contributed $6,400 to local community organizations on behalf of employees through the wellness program.

Julie Musilek