Encouraging health at work
Ellen Wright-Burkholder | 03.25.13
The high-stress environment of their business is a contributing factor for obesity and smoking among employees.
Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling (PDR&R) is a 24-hour-a-day company and a full service disaster restoration contractor that services seven Pennsylvania counties, including Lancaster County. Not only are their customers individuals, families, and businesses that have been impacted by fire, flood, or other disasters, but they serve the insurance industry as well.
Ellen Wright-Burkholder, Business Manager, identifies the high-stress environment of their business as a contributing factor for obesity and smoking among their employees in the past. As a result, PDR&R had experienced significantly high increases in their health insurance premiums each year. Realizing that they could not absorb the additional costs for their 62 employees, Wright-Burkholder and Stephen Rotay, General Manager, started a wellness program at PDR&R.
Having served on a wellness committee for six years at her previous company, Wright-Burkholder knew how vital wellness committees were to businesses in educating employees, fostering an awareness of the importance of physical and mental health, and encouraging employees to take responsibility for their own health.
Rotay and Wright-Burkholder started a nine-week smoking cessation program, offered wellness screenings, and hosted breakfast discussions, among other activities. In January 2012, PDR&R established a “Know Your Numbers” campaign that offered a “Preferred Rate” health premium to those employees that met certain criteria, such as receiving preventive screenings, making and keeping doctor and dentist appointments, knowing and reducing (if necessary) their body mass index (BMI), and attending company and local health events. Next year, PDR&R plans to offer company-paid wellness screenings on an annual basis.
With the savings they realized, the company was able to implement a new vision plan.
From the beginning, Rotay and other executive leaders were 100% committed to the program, which Wright-Burkholder attributes to the program’s success and PDR&R’s ability to facilitate a cultural change in their company. As a result of the “Know Your Numbers” campaign, PDR&R realized a significant cost savings in their health insurance premium. With the savings they realized, the company was able to implement a vision plan, which they had not offered in the past.
For companies interested in starting an employee wellness program, Wright-Burkholder suggests that they “ease into the program – not everyone will be as excited about taking charge of their health as you are. It is unrealistic to think that you will have 100% participation in the program. Do not be disappointed if employees are slow to come on board.”
Ellen Wright-Burkholder, Business Manager.
If you’d like more information on the employee wellness program PDR&R implemented, please contact Ellen Wright-Burkholder at email@example.com.
By Ellen Wright-Burkholder
Business Manager, Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling, and Lighten Up Lancaster County Member
Tell us: What is your own company doing to encourage wellness in the workplace? What is working and what can be improved upon? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.