What makes your workplace healthy? Intuitive Digital, Xenium HR and other Oregon companies share what works for them
Pictured above: Xenium HR employees at a (pre-COVID) team awards dinner.
This week, some of Oregon’s top employers will gather in a celebration of workplace wellness at the Portland Business Journal’s 2020 Healthiest Employers of Oregon awards.
What are the secrets of a workplace that considers its employees’ health, happiness and work/life balance vital to its own success? We checked in with a few of this year’s PBJ awards honorees on how each prioritizes wellness in the workplace—and how they’ve adapted to the challenges 2020 has presented.
Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
What does your company do to encourage healthy living for your employees?
“Under one of our core values, ‘Be a source of inspiration,’ an important component is ‘I will strive for balance and care for myself.’ We have a wellness committee who keeps our employees engaged with regular reminders to participate in activities, track progress, sign up for our annual biometric screening and flu shots, and more.
In addition to our regular wellness program, we provide all employees with three paid half-day Fridays every summer, paid time off to volunteer, flexible scheduling, book club, summer outings, cross-departmental coffee dates, a year-end company party and awards ceremony, quarterly pulse checks on how senior leadership is doing, financial wellness advising, and a peer recognition program.”
“Outside of the benefits of our health care plan, which offers a free tobacco cessation program, health coaching and chronic illness management, we host onsite clinics at our dealerships across the country. This allows employees to get their yearly wellness check-up without having to leave work. We also have five onsite employee health centers that are available, at no cost, to all employees and spouses.”
“This year we launched our Monthly Wellness Initiatives program: each month has a theme (mental health, emotional intelligence, physical fitness, etc.), and we provide information and resources to the team as well as an activity such as a book club or daily fitness challenge.
In addition to the host of health benefits, PTO, volunteer PTO, and support provided by the HR team we also offer monthly chair massages (which are on hold during COVID-19), as well as encourage walking meetings when weather allows.
We also have a program called ‘Donut Dates’ where employees are grouped at random on a monthly basis to meet for a coffee so they can connect during work hours but not about work-related things.”
“Since health is different for everyone, we focus on being flexible and offering services based on the interests of our team. In addition to offering a fully-funded health plan to all employees, some of the wellness resources, benefits and programs we offer include a running/walking club, on-site yoga and fitness classes, on-site chair massages, Barran Liebman’s annual ‘Biggest Loser’ competition with cash prizes, fresh fruit and healthy snack options delivered to the office, a couch-filled library that doubles as a “relaxation space,” staff appreciation events throughout the year, and more.”
As we’ve faced multiple challenges in Oregon this year (COVID-19, wildfires, protests and demonstrations), how did things change at your workplace? How did you adapt?
“Shortly after the death of George Floyd and the resulting civil unrest that ensued, Xenium looked to further enhance our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) curriculum. Our entire staff had already participated in several equity trainings, and our book club had read and engaged in a virtual discussion about the book White Fragility. This summer, we engaged in a white ally-ship training where we uncovered and openly discussed [DEI] issues that we felt are important to recognize and break down. It was very powerful and helped our company to navigate through a difficult summer.
We also started recording weekly peer recognition videos via Zoom – featuring two members of our culture committee, our president, and a different surprise guest each week. During this weekly video we present peer recognitions and weekly challenges where people submit photos, videos, inspirational quotes to show the rest of the team what they were doing to relieve stress, keep active, and stay positive. We are still doing these videos seven months later!”
“Although wildfires affected several of our West Coast employees, no one was hit harder than our home office in Medford, Oregon. Two small communities, Talent and Phoenix, located a few miles south of Medford, were destroyed. Within hours, employees’ homes were burned to the ground and they found themselves homeless for the first time. We gave direct financial support and additional paid time off those who lost homes. The Medford office and stores held three separate drives to support the Boys & Girls Club of Phoenix, Kid’s Unlimited and ACCESS – nonprofits that were helping those in our community affected by the fires.”
“Our office went full-time work-from-home early in March. As we saw team members were stressed but not taking time off, we added two additional PTO days for employees to make sure they're taking a little time for themselves.
We also started having our team lunches to celebrate wins outside while the weather was nice so we could safely socialize while maintaining distance. We were also able to keep our summer team outing on the schedule by going for a hike out in Forest Park.”
Barran Liebman LLP:
“Speaking of both the pandemic and recent wildfires, we have an attorney, Trevor Caldwell, who has been called upon twice this year alone to serve for the National Guard. [Editor’s note: Thank you for your service, Trevor!]
In transitioning nearly our entire team to work-from-home operations, we recognize now more than ever the importance of mental health. Leadership checks in with all team members each week, and we host virtual happy hours, Zoom trivia (with a virtual pub trivia host), recipe and photo contests, and a variety of activities to keep our team in positive spirits. This video that we put together for our team highlights just a few of those items.”
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is proud to recognize the organizations that are making Oregon a healthier place to work, live and play. The companies interviewed in this article all partner with Regence to offer health and wellness solutions that support their employees’ physical and mental wellbeing. To learn more about Regence’s health plan offerings, visit regence.com.