We caught up with HR leaders at 5 leading companies to pick their brains about what makes their wellness programs work. We heard all about mud runs, on-site yoga rooms, fitness contests, and regular biometric check-ups.
It’s clear that these aren’t just innovative human resource professionals – these are corporate wellness powerhouses. Be sure to check out the video interviews below!
Note: Property Solutions is now Entrata
Though Entrata is only 2 years into their formal wellness program, they’d started out with a culture that promoted wellness activates. Their current program involves no financial incentives and is completely voluntary.
In addition to sponsoring two local 5k runs – The Dirty Dash and the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival 5k – the company pays for every employee (plus a family member) to participate.
They also hold quarterly wellness events and activities. Previous events include bringing in health and wellness authors to talk about fitness and financial wellness counselors educating employees on 401ks and how and why to invest.
As if that wasn’t enough, Entrata's commitment to employee health extends to the weight room. Entrata offers an onsite exercise facility that includes a treadmill, elliptical machine, free weights and machines, a spin bike, and yoga room.
But because they know their employees might not have time during the busy workday to access these perks, they also offer a company sponsored gym membership. Employees have the option to pay for the membership through a deduction from their paycheck – or, if they rack up enough gym visits each month, Entrata will pay for the membership completely.
This program comes in two parts: 360 Fit 1.0 and 360 Fit 2.0.
1.0 is a participation-based program that tracks employees’ physical activity, nutrition, health challenges, and mental wellness, and involves participation in a wellness class.
The next level of the program – the 2.0 – takes a metric-based approach. By looking at employees’ biometric data, they get an overall health rating used to check fitness levels.
Of all the programs we reviewed, Varian Medical Systems tops the list for program longevity. With 30 years of experience with their corporate wellness program, Varian has found what works and stuck with it.
An always successful program is Project Zero, where employees commit to the goal of no weight gain over the holidays. Running from November through January of each year, Project Zero keeps employees accountable for their health and fitness by holding regular weigh-ins and prizes for reaching milestones.
A more recent program Varian Medical Systems has begun is the Lost in Space wellness program. Using an interactive display that serves as a communal game board, employees log their personal exercise and wellness activities to move their game piece further from a black hole and closer to Earth. The program will conclude with prizes and a big drawing in August to coincide with their annual Health Fair.
Usana Health Sciences wellness program has been going strong for over 8 years. Using the power of monetary incentives, Usana runs their Health for Wealth Program. Employees are able to use a tracking system to enter points received for doing certain activities, and those points turn into real money.
Activities include participation in wellness classes, lunch and learns, personal training, fitness classes and stress management programs.
In addition to these activities, Usana also offers employee fitness boot camps, personal training, and massages.
Nelson Laboratories has been running its wellness program for a year and half through Orriant, a corporate wellness services provider.
Orriant comes through once a year to check biometric levels on 5 factors for each employee. Using that data, it is determined if an employee will need to work with a wellness coach.
If they score low on any of the 5 factors, a wellness coach is provided to check in with on a weekly basis. Together they work on fitness and nutrition goals, and keep a record of all data throughout the year.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in May 2015. It has been updated to reflect completeness and accuracy.