We recently caught up with Deborah Deters, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Hub International. Since its introduction in 2009, HUB International's wellness program has offered employees support for all identified health risks.
The wellness program includes on and off-site wellness screenings, telephonic health coaching, disease and condition management, a health and charity challenge walk, weight loss challenges, lunch and learn sessions, and financial incentives. It is because of these initiatives that Hub International was a recipient for the 2011 Leadership Awards!
Corporate Wellness Magazine: Briefly describe what employee "support" looks like for all identified health risks.
Deb Deters: Our Wellness vendor reaches out to employees who have significant health risks and works with them via coaching towards the appropriate health improvement process. This may include directing them toward medical care, advising of available resources and personal coaching.
Internally we also provide a series of webinars and "lunch and learns" on common health and stress related topics. This year we are combining our wellness data and our insurance data to get a more complete health profile of our employees. For some health risks our insurance vendor will work with the employee via case management.
This starts to complete the picture and provides the employee additional information and resources that are available via our insurance plan. Employees and their families will also complete a Personal Health Profile with Aetna our health care vendor. This tool will help employees and their families track their care and get reminders for maintaining their family's health. This is our first step into trying to engage not just our employee but reach the families as well.
CWM: How successful has your health and charity challenge walk been throughout the years?
DD: 2011 was our first year with the health and charity walk challenge. It was highly successful in engaging employees to walk more. As I traveled to the various offices I was often told stories of how employees were going for walks before and after work and at lunch alone or with co-workers.
The pedometers posed the biggest challenge but once that was resolved, people really got moving. The event created a "healthy" competitive environment that increased our employee's activity level and increased employee's awareness of their activity. Our company does a significant amount of community service so the walking challenge was an easy linkage to a core company value, while the walking helped everyone get conditioned to participate.
CWM: Which wellness program has the most employee engagement?
DD: It is hard to say which events created the greatest engagement. I think the walking competition generated the most "fun" engagement however many employees look forward to annual wellness screenings and we are seeing risk factors decrease for our year over year repeat participants. We can see employees are making better choices in their lives and feeling supported at work while doing it.
Our offices are also making better choices when catering lunches or in their vending machine offerings. The exciting thing is employees are now taking initiative on their own to coordinate activities specific to their office. As an example, a group of employees set up a weight watchers program that meets in the office weekly. This group of employees collectively has lost over 200 lbs. The great news is they feel supported by their peers and Hub in their efforts.
CWM: Have you seen cost savings on medical claims since you have implemented this program?
DD: As most know, it is difficult to link wellness efforts specifically to medical claim costs reduction at a time when plan design changes are also being implemented and medical inflation is in the double digits. Wellness is a long term strategy.
Moving people from a high risk factor to a lower risk factor is our greatest indication that we are making a difference. This reduction in risk will likely lead to reduced claims in the future. We have managed to keep health care cost down but that is a function of several actions including wellness.
CWM: What does corporate wellness look like going forward for the company?
DD: In 2012 we are advancing our wellness program to a new level. We have completed our wellness screenings and employees are receiving the results. The Wellness Coordinators are working with our benefits team on Hub Healthy Habits initiatives this year. We have contracted with Get Active for a means of improved wellness offerings and tracking which will allow us to ramp up our initiatives.
First quarter we will launch the weight loss challenge. The walking competition, smoking cessation, nutrition education and more will follow throughout the year. We are very excited because we continue to have strong support at a corporate and local leadership level.
Wellness is considered so important that the winner of our key initiatives will be flown with a guest to our company wide SHARP event that recognizes key producers, leader and business operations. Hub is committed to helping our employees lead a healthier life. When we feel good we are happier with our lives.
CWM: Thank you for taking the time for this feature.
We want to congratulate Hub International again on Hub Healthy Habits initiatives and we look forward to hearing more in the future!Please help us focus our content and improve our website by taking our brief Wellness Survey. For more information on the 2012 nominations, and/or how to submit nominations, you can contact us by clicking here.