What You Can Learn From 7 Companies' Successful Wellness Programs

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May 11, 2021

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is inspired each year by companies that go above and beyond in promoting health and wellness to their employees. We recognize these companies every year with the LiveLifeBlue awards. 

The LiveLifeBlue awards program honors South Carolina employers who play an active role in promoting health and wellness for their employees. Each year, we award the “Blue Shoe” to companies that are making a real difference. 

There’s a lot to learn from the work these companies do to promote wellness. Here’s a look at the winners in 2020 and some key lessons to apply to your workplace. 

A well-rounded program 

An effective wellness program doesn’t just promote one kind of health initiative. Many LiveLifeBlue winners have multifaceted programs targeting holistic health of their employees. 

The City of Charleston is a three-time LiveLifeBlue award winner. It offers a well-rounded and robust wellness program that focuses on helping city employees be their healthiest selves.  

Here are a few key things the city has done to improve employee health: 

  • Nutritional webinars 
  • Stress reduction lunch and learns 
  • Lunchtime workouts 
  • Step challenges 
  • Fitness center reimbursements 

Similarly, Fitesa, a small company and first-time LiveLifeBlue award winner, incorporates many elements into an effective wellness program. It offers mobile mammograms, discounts to local gyms, lunch and learns on a variety of health-related topics, perfect attendance awards, and a cost-free smoking cessation program. 

Working with partners 

Evening Post Industries is another three-time LiveLifeBlue award winner. For the third year in a row, the company is dedicated to the health and happiness of its employees with programs from partner organizations. 

  • Rally Health Inc.: By working with Rally Health, a separate company that offers a health management program, the company can offer personalized Rally rewards and paid parental leave. 
  • Prudential provides an online Financial Wellness Center that includes videos, articles, finance tools and personalized guidance from professionals.
  • Wellness Coaches: The company’s Health Habits programs partners with a local certified health and wellness coach to change nutrition and physical activity habits. 

FN America, a first-time winner, also uses Rally and offers $100 Visa gift cards for members who win challenges and recruit their colleagues to join the Rally platform. After one year, it had 15 percent participation with a goal to double that. 

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) is a three-time LiveLifeBlue award winner and was recognized this year in the overall category. SRNS worked with Livongo to help employees with diabetes better manage the condition. Catapult provided 640 employee biometric screenings that gave SRNS data to build better wellness programs for its population.

On-site care

Several of this year’s winners operate on-site care facilities. FN America is one of the few companies of its size nationwide to offer a full-service primary care provider on site. The Health & Wellness Center offers free primary care and generic medications to employees and covered family members. 

The center receives high praise from employees for appointment availability, convenience, cost savings and quality of care. In fact, more than 95 percent of employees say they would recommend the facility to another employee or family member. 

Impressively, Fitesa offers an on-site medical clinic at no cost to its employees. A nurse is available two days per week with plans to expand to three days per week. The medical clinic organizes monthly challenges and sends out information to employees on topics such as checking blood pressure, diabetes awareness, and cold and flu season. 

Incentives at work 

Other companies have found success in promoting healthy behaviors by offering incentives. 

The City of Charleston incentivizes its employees to have preventive screenings with cash deposits into HRAs and HSAs. This helped motivate every police officer and firefighter to complete an annual physical. 

Evening Post Industries gives employees enrolled in its medical plans HRA funds and gift cards for completing a health survey, having annual physicals and preventive screenings, completing Rally missions and challenges and fulfilling four coaching calls. 

Seeing results 

The City of North Myrtle Beach is a first-time LiveLifeBlue award winner but years of effort have gone into creating a Wellness Plan that boasts a 95 percent employee participation rate. 

The city’s wellness plan has two parts. The first part allows members to receive a discount on premiums by completing a Health Risk Assessment, biometrics testing and wellness coaching. The second part deposits money into an HRA for members and spouses who meet specific incentives or reasonable alternatives. 

The city operates an on-site health center that offers flu shots, sick visits, primary care and health coaching at no cost to employees and dependents. They also get discounted membership rates at its Aquatic and Fitness Center.

The program’s results are impressive. 

  • 50 percent decrease in undiagnosed diabetes
  • 28 percent decrease in metabolic syndrome
  • 23 percent decrease in low HDL cholesterol
  • 22 percent decrease in prediabetes
  • 6 percent decrease in obesity 

King’s Asphalt, a first-time LiveLifeBlue winner, has found results in partnering with local primary care providers to encourage employees to take better care of themselves through a consistent relationship with a provider. It has worked hard to communicate the advantages of its BlueCross membership. These efforts led employees’ use of Blue CareOnDemandSM to double, participation in Rally to increase from 29 to 35 percent and My Health Toolkit® use to rise from 15 to 45 percent.

Losing the weight 

Many of the winners had successful weight-loss programs that engaged employees in taking control of their health. 

SRNS has reinvented its wellness efforts by developing programs that are interactive, supportive and engaging. The most popular 2019 program was its Biggest Winner competition — 213 employees lost a combined 1,316 pounds over a three-month period. 

The company provides its employees on-site walking and biking trails, basketball courts, on-site gyms, and 11 wellness/lactation rooms with blood pressure machines, BMI machines, scales, yoga mats, water bottles, charging stations and relaxation murals. 

Meanwhile, King’s Asphalt proves that fitness can be fun for the whole family by sponsoring an annual Digital Scavenger Hunt. Employees and their families walk the 3.5-mile Doodle Trail from Pickens to Easley. Teams are given a list of clues and must photograph themselves with the items listed along the trail. The team that completes the list in the shortest amount of time wins fitness-related prizes. 

Looking forward 

One thing all of the winners have in common is plans to keep improving wellness offerings for employees. 

Here’s what these companies plan to incorporate in the future: 

  • Social media campaigns 
  • Enhanced mental health support 
  • Integrated initiatives for better member experience 
  • Health-related classes 
  • Tobacco cessation programs 
  • Expanding programs to family members 

For more insight on how to build a healthy workplace, read our blog

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