The Well-Being Journal

Lincoln Industries: A Case for Well-Being

Jennifer Rudloff

Recently, CFO magazine published a story on Lincoln Industries inspired by the findings of a new study done by Lincoln Industries in conjunction with Healthways and the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO). This study, featured in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is among the first peer- reviewed research evaluating the effectiveness of worksite health and wellness programs offered by a small employer. Findings support the premise that high-quality employee wellness programs in small businesses improve employee health and well-being, which drives organizational outcomes such as absenteeism, healthcare costs and disability claims.

The study shows a phenomenal corporate culture of health at Lincoln Industries, adopted by the company years ago. Lincoln adopted a culture of health years ago. Its leadership realized that to take its wellness program to the next level, there needed to be a stronger emphasis on well-being, focusing on the whole person, not just physical health. To gain a better understanding of the needs of their population and identify areas of opportunity, they began using the Healthways Well-Being Assessment™ (WBA). The WBA assesses physical health, emotional health, healthy behavior, work environment, life evaluation, and basic access to food, shelter, healthcare and other necessities, and provides management with a comprehensive, holistic view of the health and well-being of their employees.

The study marks an important step toward broadening the workplace well-being impact beyond just large businesses. Small businesses, which stand to benefit from financial incentives provided by healthcare reform legislation, are in need of guidance regarding their investment in programs that deliver results.

Lincoln is a great example of how to do it right. They make well-being a part of individual objectives, and as a the result, they’ve seen a 5 to 1 ROI in wellness programs. They achieved an 87 percent response rate on the Well-Being Assessment (without incentives). Additionally, approximately 99 percent of employees complete regular health screenings with the majority of the workforce participating in wellness programs throughout the year. They’ve successfully reduced tobacco use, significantly reduced workers compensation costs, and have consistently managed to beat the national average on health insurance rates by $3000 per employee.

So how do they do it? Watch the interviews below where their Director of Wellness, Safety and Life Enhancement, Tonya Vyhildal talks with us in about the well-being improvement programs at Lincoln Industries. For a more detailed dive into their successes, watch her complete presentation from the Healthways Well-Being Summit here.

As a leader in well-being, how do you promote well-being internally?

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How do you tie well-being into individual objectives?

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What impact have well-being programs had on your organization?

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Why do you include well-being as a performance measure?

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Talk about the HERO paper published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine,

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What's the one thing you'd tell an employer looking to move to well-being?

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Topics: Return on Investment Well-Being HERO Tonya Vyhildal Nebraska Workplace Well-Being Business Performance Competitive Advantage Prevention wellbeing and health Wellness Lincoln Industries Healthways Wellness Program Well-being Assessment

National Employee Wellness Month

Jennifer Rudloff

The third annual National Employee Wellness Month (NEWM) kicked off on June 1st nationwide in an effort to promote existing healthy living programs and share successful strategies for corporate health initiatives. NEWM gives employers a great opportunity to jumpstart or enhance your company’s well-being programs and maybe even try out some new initiatives. If properly administered, these programs will not only have the potential to lower healthcare costs, but they will also ultimately create happier, healthier and better performing employees.

As a proud sponsor of NEWM, Healthways is implementing our own initiatives to improve our employees’ well-being on a number of levels, and encourage everyone to be healthy and social. Here are a few of the things we’ve put in place.

  • Fitness classes: We are offering our colleagues a variety of fitness classes on site to fit their schedules. They can choose to exercise before work, at lunch, or at the end of the workday.
  • ‘Workout Wednesdays,’ allow and encourage employees to wear workout gear to the office to help remove some of the barriers to exercise. We also offer additional fitness classes on these days and encourage group walks.
  • Walking workstations: our employees can get away from their desks and get moving by working from one of our walking work station treadmills.
  • Healthier and Fresher Food: In addition to providing healthy options in our Café, we’ve also startedan herb garden on site which our chef can pull from, and we offer a weekly farmers market for employees to get fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • We offer Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes to employees to help them better manage their stress.
  • All of our many web-based, telephonic coaching, and disease management programs are available to our colleagues, just going to show it is so good we eat our own cooking
  • Company sports leagues: We help employees form teams for local sports leagues. Employees often gather together at lunch to practice in the courtyard.

In addition to our own workplace initiatives, we have launched Healthways|Blue Zones Vitality Cities, a community-wide well-being improvement initiative in the Southern California’s Beach City Health District. Read more about what we’re doing to help communities.

When talking about workplace well-being initiatives, it’s important to note that success often requires a cultural shift that starts with leadership but is accepted at all levels of the organization. As discussed in a previous post, “wellbeing is highly valued by employees and a key driver in their level of job satisfaction, loyalty and motivation.” A new study finds a disconnect between employers and employees regarding wellness initiatives. The report found that 42 percent of employees say that their bosses do not look out for their physical health enough, while only 14 percent of management thinks the same. National Employee Wellness Month provides a wonderful opportunity for employers to open up a dialogue about well-being with their employees and renew their commitment to wellness in the eyes of their people.

**NOTE: Healthways was recently chosen to be one of Baltimore’s Healthiest Employers by the Baltimore Business Journal. To read about some of the initiatives that helped land us on this list, click here >>

What are some well-being initiatives you are thinking of or already have in place? What kind of wellness initiatives would you like to see implemented within your organization?

Topics: Well-Being Company Workplace Well-Being Healthcare Business Performance Health Competitive Advantage Prevention wellbeing and health How to Improve Employee Performance Health in the Workplace National Employee Wellness Month Wellness Healthways Employee Performance Improvement

Optimism in America

Jennifer Rudloff

We’re all evaluated at one point or another in our lives. Whether it’s on tests we take or projects and presentations we create, evaluation is a constant part of our lives. Sometimes, though, we fail to stop and evaluate one of the most important things — life.

There are many important questions we must stop and ask ourselves about our own well-being in life, like: How are we doing in our relationships? How is our health? Are we living our lives to their fullest potential? By evaluating these areas and improving just one area of our lives, we can prompt improvements in other areas as well.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® (WBI), when Americans evaluate life, 54% classify themselves as thriving. The Cantril Scale asks those surveyed to imagine a "ladder" with steps numbered 0 (worst possible life) to 10 (best possible life). The "thriving" group (steps 7-10 on Cantril Scale) indicates that they expect to stand on step 8 or higher five years from now. An important takeaway here is that over half of Americans, when reflecting on their present and future lives, see themselves as “thriving.”

So while work environment, basic access and all areas of health remain subpar, life evaluation sits higher and generally steadier per the WBI. Regardless of the economy and other events happening between 2008 and 2011, a majority of Americans still remain optimistic about their future.

Reader Question: What makes you most optimistic about the future?

Topics: Re-election Health Well-Being Index Optimism Total Well-Being wellbeing health wellbeing and health Internal Reflection

Daniel Pink: Employee Engagement and Changing the World of Work

Jennifer Rudloff

Well-Being Summit participants heard best-selling author Daniel Pink speak on employee engagement and changing the world of work on Tuesday. Considering the decline in workplace well-being over the past few years, Pink talked about how workplace well-being can be improved through several key changes - the single greatest being motivation.

People spend half of their waking hours at work - disengaged. Because our well-being is formed while we are awake, our well-being at work is integral to our overall well-being. When people are disengaged, they're not motivated - and this leads to lower levels of workplace well-being.

Increasing, enlivening, and enriching the workplace improve the system of motivation within the workplace. By giving employees context for their work, room to grow within their own interests in the workplace, and allowances to move beyond the day-to-day work they conduct, well-being in the workplace will improve and overall well-being will too.

Topics: Well-Being Workplace Well-Being Employee Well-Being Health Well-Being Index Motivation wellbeing health wellbeing and health Health in the Workplace work motivation Events Employees Motivation No Motivation Lack of Motivation