Employee safety is paramount for all companies big or small and they spend big bucks to keep us safe while working. But, how many of those safety conscious employers place those same concerns on the wellness of their employees? And, at the end of the day does it make a difference? You bet it does, and several employers in the Atlanta, Georgia, area would agree. These top companies are making significant strides with employee participation in the area of improved health and wellness.
Atlanta’s Healthiest Employers Awards
Annually the Atlanta Business Chronicle accepts nominations for “Atlanta’s Healthiest Employers Awards”. This award celebrates health in the workplace and recognizes organizations that are committed to creating a healthy workplace in six key categories: leadership commitment, foundational components, strategic planning, communication and marketing, programming and interventions, and reporting/analysis. This nomination is submitted by those companies who believe they are making a difference, and back up those claims with solid metrics and lasting results.
An independent company, Healthiest Employers, LLC, reviews the applications and selects 10 finalists. On February 12, 2015, the Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized AutomationDirect as the third Healthiest Medium Sized Company in Atlanta. At AutomationDirect in Cumming, GA, human resources representative, Mary Brehl, discussed the company’s progress saying they saw dramatic improvements after implementing a wellness program. “We have tracked a direct correlation between increases in the number of rewards earned to the overall health improvement of our team members,” Brehl said, “and when comparing our numbers from 2012 to 2014 our overall weight loss by our participants has increased 168% plus the number of individuals who are now a healthy weight has increased by 48%.” She said because of the success last year they have a new motto for the program to “Be Your Own Hero” which encourages participants who may be struggling, to take advice from individuals who made changes, found motivation and began their own journey. One employee, Jerry R. said, “I made the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle after an appointment with my doctor. He advised me that I was at a point where I needed to make some lifestyle changes or my health could be compromised.” Jerry said the use of the DirectWellness program at AutomationDirect, along with encouragement from other participants, offered a source of motivation. He tells his story after shedding more than 110 pounds.
Brehl admits the biggest challenge to establishing an ongoing program was over complication and says, “We had so many options and incentives that people were confused on how to take full advantage of the program.” So, the internal committee worked hard to simply the program to easily guide participants through the path of success. They wanted to make it easy for people to participate by outlining clear goals, providing encouragement through incentives, and sharing personal success stories. The program is entering its third year and has seen participation increase year after year – a trend they expect will continue.
Originally Posted: May 21, 2015