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When Event Network Inc. assesses the health of its employees, the health risk assessment touches on delicate personal topics such as emotional well-being and job satisfaction, a step beyond the typical HRA, because the company recognizes that happy employees are productive employees.
From the day job applicants interview for a position at the San Diego-based operator of gift shops for cultural attractions, they learn about the company's culture of health, and every new hire receives a gym bag containing a sweatshirt, books on business transformation, a handwritten welcome letter from the president, an exercise ball, a reusable culinary set and a water bottle.
The new corporate campus also was designed to foster an environment representative of the healthy culture Event Network espouses.
“We want people to get up and move during the day, not just sit in their cubicles. It enhances creativity when you change your environment,” said Meredith DeMartino, Event Network's vp of talent development.
Event Network also has a career coach on retainer available as a free resource to employees. Besides providing career advice, the coach also helps employees work on their interpersonal relationships with coworkers.
To facilitate social interaction during the workday, every cubicle is equipped with a padded rolling file cabinet that doubles as a guest chair. The company also provides support for the Naval Special Warfare Family Foundation and Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, and encourages individual community involvement.
As a result of these and other wellness programs designed to elevate employees' emotional state, overall mental health and happiness and employee job satisfaction levels were at 97%, according to the assessment tool provided by Clackamas, Ore.-based WellSource Inc., which developed Event Network's HRA.
Since the company launched its wellness strategy in 2008, voluntary employee turnover has fallen to 3% in 2011 from 11.5% in 2008. This compares with an industry average hovering between 25% and 50%. Absenteeism also is down, with the number of employees taking five or more sick days annually falling to 2% in 2011 from 8% in 2010.
“Wellness is so much more than what most people think. It's more than just weight loss and nutrition. It really is a holistic approach. It's also about personal and professional development as well as community outreach,” Ms. DeMartino said.
The many “lunch-and-learns” that Event Network offers employees address topics from emotional intelligence and counterintuitive thinking to financial security and conflict resolution.
Business Insurance created the Benefit Manager of the Year® award in 2005 to recognize excellence and innovation in employee benefits management.