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Sunday, 24 May 2015 22:00

For Lacks, wellness goes beyond physical well-being

Written by  Jill Hinton
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To create a successful wellness program, Grand Rapids-based Lacks Enterprises Inc. started by focusing on its corporate culture.

Just as the company’s workforce is made up of “whole people,” it realized its wellness program needed to do the same. For Lacks, wellness meant paying attention to not only physical well-being, but also financial, social and spiritual health as well, said Amy Reynolds, the company’s wellness program coordinator.

“A lot of wellness programs that you see handle the preventative care, and they handle the weight loss, and they handle the nutrition,” Reynolds said. “But our program goes above and beyond that. … Our employees are very involved.

They’re very eager and we have great participation.”

At Lacks Enterprises, employees earn wellness credits for volunteering with their churches or local charities or nonprofits. They also get credits for donating goods to charities such as Goodwill Industries. The company believes such actions to be part of what it calls community wellness.

But the firm’s actions don’t end there. Lacks also is investing in a relatively new concept known as “social wellness.” This means that the company encourages its employees to engage in healthy activities with another person or group of people. Examples include being part of a walking group or a softball team or playing in a golf league.

For 2015, the company plans to focus even more on engaging families in the wellness programs.

“We’re going to offer some more family-oriented challenges and some more social health activities,” Reynolds said.

In the past, Lacks – like a lot of other companies its size – struggled with getting employees engaged.

Jenn Groendyke, who manages PR and communications for Lacks as well as the wellness program, said the company decided to make a bold move in its employees’ health care and installed on-site health clinics for its employees and their spouses in recent years.

Preventive care is covered at 100 percent for employees included in Lacks Enterprises’ health insurance, and those who come in for something other than preventive care pay only a $30 copay.

“As long as it’s a preventative diagnostic, it’s free,” Groendyke said. “We’re also able to dispense a limited number of medications, which are free.”

For companies just starting down the road of wellness, Groendyke recommends having employees identify the reason why they want to get healthy.

“It’s understanding your culture, what makes them tick, and getting them to understand their why — what’s important to them,” Groendyke said. “Once you identify that personal reason, it makes it a lot easier.”

  • Company name: Lacks Enterprises Inc.
  • Location: Grand Rapids
  • Number employees: 2,800
  • Wellness participation: 80 percent participation and 60 percent committed
  • Best practices: The company stresses the importance of employees having a primary care doctor, which it reinforces by offering two onsite health clinics. The company also wants to see its employees engage in self-care along with regular doctor visits, family unity, sleep, financial stability exercises, social wellness and mindfulness. Lacks’ wellness program walks alongside the company’s family culture by offering resources for its employees to take care of themselves and their families, meeting them at whatever level they are currently at in their wellness journey.
Read 2198 times Last modified on Sunday, 07 June 2015 23:29

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