We are proud to announce that Venture Community Services has been selected for Worcester Business Journal’s 2015 Employer of Choice Award in the large employer category for Employee Health & Wellbeing. Venture’s benefits package extends far beyond excellent health, dental, and vision programs. Over the past few years, we have begun offering flexible work schedules, telecommuting and especially our popular wellness program.
Beginning in 2008, employee health and wellness became a high-priority topic for Venture. At the time, these programs were still a new concept for many employers – the idea was somewhat controversial and the agency’s financial commitment was significant. As research about the advantages of wellness programs emerged, opportunities became widely available and participation costs came down. When we began working with a wellness provider, many employees initially showed interest. However, our next step was to educate our more than 650 staff members about this opportunity, such as explaining the incentives and easing fears about confidentiality. The human resources department worked together with the wellness provider and our insurance broker to provide employee access to this new initiative.
Employee engagement remains an ongoing priority and we continue to explore new ways to spark interest. In April 2013, we welcomed our first Wellness Coordinator to the human resources team. Since then, we have also created a Wellness Committee that meets on a monthly basis and includes representatives from departments across the agency. In the past two years, Venture has utilized several initiatives to increase participation. First, employees who enroll in and maintain the program’s requirements pay a reduced premium toward their health insurance costs. We also hold special events such as guest speakers who discuss nutrition, stress management, and other relevant topics. This year we implemented “Fruity Friday” and “Tasty Tuesday”, low-key ways of offering our employees free healthy snacks in our break room. Additionally, Venture recognizes an employee with our monthly Wellness Works Award through a nomination process. Another method of encouraging employee participation is through offering annual bonus incentives for taking part in health and wellness. There are a number of different ways that employees can earn an annual financial bonus and credits are awarded for things such as attending fitness classes, holding gym memberships, and running or walking in community races.
We are committed to empowering our employees through ongoing education and innovative health & wellness opportunities. We are so happy to have been recognized by the Worcester Business Journal for our positive changes. To read the full article, click here.