The Capital Region Health Innovation Award presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana was created to recognize companies in the community that have implemented and promoted innovative approaches to employees’ health and well-being. The winners, Labarre Associates and The Lemoine Company provided some insight into how businesses in the Capital Region can best engage their employees in a healthy lifestyle.
Q: WHY DID YOUR ORGANIZATION CHOOSE TO ADOPT A HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAM?
Angela Cannon, Labarre Associates: Our main goal is to promote happier, healthier, and more productive lifestyles, both professionally and personally. Having happier, healthier employees leads to better engagement and focus at work.
Q: WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE BENEFITS YOU HAVE NOTICED IN THE WORKPLACE BY IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAM?
Dominique Juneau, The Lemoine Company:
- Annual wellness screenings. These allow participants to get a full wellness report which includes resources and guidance if there are any health issues that need to be addressed.
- Company morale & culture. We love spotlighting any type of individual success to the company to inspire and motivate others.
- Flexibility. We constantly review and make changes necessary for the program, this allows us to be innovative from year to year as our needs may change.
Q: WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR OTHER BUSINESSES LOOKING TO IMPROVE HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE BUT STILL WORK WITHIN A BUDGET?
Dominique Juneau, The Lemoine Company: Have the leadership within your company support and serve as a healthy example for all employees. With support and motivation from leaders and peers, it is only natural for others to be impacted in a positive manner.
Angela Cannon, Labarre Associates: See what your health plan offers as a part of its program. You may be surprised at the free resources already available to you.
Q: WHAT ARE TWO EASY WAYS WORKPLACES CAN IMPROVE THEIR EMPLOYEES HEALTHY LIVING HABITS TODAY?
Angela Cannon, Labarre Associates: Promote from the top down. If there is no buy-in, employees will know. Also, try to be as encouraging when one-on-one by answering questions and guiding employees through the process. If you put in the effort on the front end, employees will encourage and challenge each other down the road.
Q: HOW HAS HEALTH INNOVATION HELPED YOUR BOTTOM LINE?
Dominique Juneau, The Lemoine Company: Since we are self-insured, the healthier our employees are, the more the employees and the company save. Those savings are directly tied back into the program to help plan events and rewards for our employees throughout the year. Aside from just the monetary savings, we also see less absenteeism and happier employees which leads to outstanding performance and results in the work we do.
Q: YOU ACHIEVED SUCH A HIGH PROGRAM ENGAGEMENT RATE AMONGST YOUR EMPLOYEES, HOW DID YOU GET YOUR EMPLOYEES ON BOARD?
Dominique Juneau, The Lemoine Company: One way that helped our employee participation was the formation of our Wellness Charter. Our Wellness Charter consists of 14 members from all office locations (Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans), both in the office and from the jobsite, to lead and help make decisions throughout the year. The greatest benefit of the charter is our ability to use our work relationships to spread the word about upcoming health challenges or events.
Angela Cannon, Labarre Associates: Our organization is smaller and allows us to give one-on-one encouragement to employees. The more employees that are participating in a smaller footprint, the more of a buzz about the program which naturally affects participation from others.
Q: WHAT OTHER ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ORGANIZATIONS IMPLEMENTING HEALTHY WORKPLACE PRACTICES?
Dominique Juneau, The Lemoine Company: I think the best piece of advice would be to feed off of the people in your company that have an interest in wellness. Allow those individuals to aid in the growth of your wellness program and listen/respond to feedback from employees to make your wellness program unique to the needs of your business. To learn more about the importance of health innovation in the workplace, read an upcoming feature story in BRAC’s quarterly magazine, Catalyst. The feature will be published on October 22.