Healthiest Companies of Southwest Washington: Local companies strive for workplace wellness

The Vancouver Business Journal announces the winners of our 2017 Healthiest Companies

Healthiest Companies lead
Courtesy of Banfield Pet Hospital

Companies all over Clark County have over the years made significant strides in promoting workplace wellness with their employees. Each year, the Vancouver Business Journal recognizes several of those companies with our Healthiest Companies awards.

The winners of the Healthiest Companies awards were chosen this month by a panel of industry experts who evaluated the nominees. Companies that go above and beyond to promote a healthy work environment were chosen as the award winners in several different categories.

The 2017 award recipients are:

Healthiest Company – Nonprofit/ Public Sector
Award recipient: Tie

Clark County Food Bank

The Clark County Food Bank promotes workplace wellness with their 18 employees through communication education, nutrition and physical activity. Activities used for communication education include Waffle Wednesday, a bi-monthly activity hosted for all employees as a way to encourage and support interpersonal communication; Stall Street Journal, a monthly publication posted in the bathrooms that includes health-related tips and recipes related to physical activity, nutrition and mental health; a safety committee; a wellness committee; civil rights training; wellness-related seminars; and staff/board activities that are strategically scheduled for all staff and board members to promote interpersonal communication as well as provide encouragement and relationship building.

Proper nutrition is promoted through wellness-related seminars that are offered throughout the fiscal year that have included such topics as Nutrition Myths and Facts, and Cooking Made Simple. Nutrition is also emphasized through produce share, where excess produce from staff and volunteers is made available for sharing as deemed appropriate by the individual; Healthy Snack Shack, providing working employees with healthy snacks each month; and an edible landscape, including blueberry bushes and strawberry plants that were purposely place onsite in place of other non-edible plant options.

Several physical activity options are offered to promote workplace wellness at the Clark County Food Bank, including an exercise program, a bike rental program, an onsite bike rack, onsite shower, standing desks and an annual walking competition that consists of two staff teams, and encourages daily and weekly step tracking.

“At Clark County Food Bank (CCFB), our vision is to inspire and grow a network of community health,” CCFB wrote in their submission. “One aspect of this vision is to be a workplace that promotes healthy, happy choices for our staff, so they are ready and equipped to serve our community.”

Clark County

Clark County, made up of 1,600 employees, works to keep their employees informed through communication education in several ways, including their Clark County Living Well committee that meets monthly and actively communicates wellness resources and activities through numerous channels. Educational information is also delivered to employees through the committee and through the county’s weekly e-newsletter, which carries articles, flyers and announcements of wellness events or educational materials.

Employee Assistance Program orientation sessions are held for employees countywide in order to provide education on the breadth of well-being services available through the program.

Some additional nutrition weight management activities for this year for Clark County employees included updating the county Nutrition Policy to reflect current standards; working with their vending machines vendor to increase the choices of healthy vending options; promoting the New American Plate 12-week challenge through the American Institute for Cancer Research; the annual Great Holiday Weight, a fun group weigh-in/weigh-out event to promote “maintain don’t gain” over the holidays; and apple and pear sales with onsite delivery.

Healthiest Companies breakoutPhysical activities used to promote workplace wellness include lockers and showers available in some buildings for employees; sit-stand work stations available to some employees, and desk stretches are promoted through flyers and posters; local fitness facility discounts that are provided to employees; “Walking Wednesdays” are promoted to encourage employees to take a walk during breaks or lunch hour for whatever length they choose; a “take the stairs” campaign that will roll out this month and more.

In their submission, the county wrote, “The Clark County Living Well program is holistic and focuses on raising employees’ awareness of healthy behaviors as well as promoting activities that encourage healthy behaviors.”

Healthiest Company – Small Employer
Award recipient: Hubb and Dynamic Events (same building)

Sister companies, Dynamic Events and Hubb work under one roof. Dynamic Events is a corporate event planning company that specializes in providing strategic event management and direction for a Fortune 500 client base. Hubb delivers software solutions for conference management and mobile applications for mid-market and enterprise clients. Together, they are re-inventing the way attendees engage and interact at corporate and industry events.

Made up of 30 employees, Hubb is a fairly new company that has been around for about two years. Every new employee receives a first-day on-boarding sessions with the company’s People Champion who explains all benefits and options, including those related to health. Some of those benefits include free onsite yoga classes during work hours; free onsite personal training during work hours; free use of the onsite gym during and outside of work hours; unlimited vacation time with a required two-week minimum usage; 100 percent employer-paid healthcare plans for employees; health foods and snacks in the kitchen; and all employees are encouraged to take breaks and walks on the nature trail right outside the office during work hours.

Hubb/Dynamic Events’ onsite personal trainer runs sessions about nutrition and weight management, and also hosts the company’s annual weight loss program.

In addition to the onsite gym, personal trainer and the nature trail that employees are encouraged to make us of, employees traveling to events have been provided with Fitbits to monitor activity while at conferences. Friendly competitions for greatest number of steps are also held.

According to Hubb/Dynamic Events’ submission, employees who participate in their free fitness and yoga training classes have reported more energy, positivity, free time and improved body fat scores. Employees who take advantage of the fully stocked kitchen admit to eating healthier since the options provided are fresh, whole foods with few processed options.

“As an employee, I love that we have a nature trail right outside of our office,” said Tom Williams, Hubb content marketing specialist. “The company is very encouraging to people to make use of that nature trail during the day. Everyone, from the senior leadership team on down, make use of it. We also have an onsite gym, yoga and personal training classes. You see the CEO of the company making use of those, you’ll see her in the classes. These resources are here to be used.”

Healthiest Company – Mid-Sized Employer
Award recipient: LSW Architects

LSW Architects’ 41 employees work for a company described in their submission as “a cool place to work, a learning organization, operational excellence and financial strength.” This year, the LSW team was asked to focus on being hungry, humble and smart, pushing everyone at LSW to lead by example in the community of Southwest Washington.

Employees receive communication education through quarterly meetings, financial health class, Design CoMission, Share House and more.

To encourage their employees to stay hydrated, filtered water has been made more accessible at LSW with the addition of a Brita Filter in the café. The past community candy bowl has been removed and the office is supplied with a variety of fruits and veggies, hummus, whole wheat and rice crackers, rice cakes, popcorn, snap pea crisps and string cheese.

Mari Jessup - Kendra Hash
Courtesy of Mari Jessup

As far as physical activity goes, the “Move Your Feet” campaign includes office hikes, half marathons, Mud Run 5K, all-office white water rafting trip lake day and more. Daily, between two to five staff members exercise together during lunch – running, rock climbing, swimming and participating in a boot camp class taught by another LSW staff member. Stand-up desks are also provided.

“At the heart of our company are our core beliefs, the things that connect us personally and drive us professionally,” LSW wrote in their submission. “Life is a gift; we were created to be creative; each was given a unique set of gifts, talents and abilities; we should love one another; in every relationship, we are to create value; and design matters.”

Healthiest Company – Large Employer
Award recipient: Banfield Pet Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital was selected as the Healthiest Company for a large employer. Banfield launched a comprehensive well-being communications campaign to support and showcase the company’s well-being benefits offerings and educational opportunities, and position Banfield’s commitment to the health and well being of their associates.

A comprehensive content hub on the company’s intranet, Fetch, enables associates to go to one place to access anything and everything related to well being. The company also regularly produces and distributes well-being content to employees.

Education to support stress energy management through regular exercise and physical activity at work supports Banfield’s holistic approach to well being.

In order to encourage associates at the company to stay active, the practice focuses on ergonomics such as floor mats in hospitals and pull-down tables in exam rooms; health resources via medical plans; team sponsorship of events such as the Rock and Roll Marathon, Hood to Coast, etc.; a physical well-being section on their intranet; and a Life Balance program support for fitness and exercise.

The company’s corporate headquarters offers treadmill work rooms, a fitness center, stand-up desks, a dog park, ramps and stairs, and a walking path.

“At Banfield, we take a holistic approach to well being and are committed to creating a healthy environment for our associates,” said Stephanie Neuvirth, SVP of People & Organization at Banfield Pet Hospital. “We invest in numerous personal and professional health and well-being programs, so our associates can focus on living their passion.”

Healthiest Company – Headquartered outside of Southwest Washington
Award recipient: Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP

Made up of 309 employees, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP received the Healthiest Company award for a company headquartered outside of Southwest Washington. The company’s principles call for employee health, and among their core values are those having to do with personal health.

Employees at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn are provided incentive and motivation to participate in various workplace wellness programs and plans. Policies at the company also support healthy living.

Nutrition and weight management is a focus through healthy food options at meetings and events, healthy vending machine offerings and healthy beverage offerings.

Physical activity is encouraged during work time, formal activity programs are offered, reimbursement is offered for memberships to work out or exercise clubs, employees have flexible work hours and are able to choose between use of stairs or elevators.

“We do believe our investment in our employees’ good health and well being is two-fold,” said Mari Jessup, office manager of the Vancouver office of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn. “When someone benefits from being and feeling healthy, their community benefits as well. That endeavor fosters encouragement, camaraderie, better health and the awareness of having wellness goals no matter where you are on your path to well being.”

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