Established in 2006, Victaulic reports that since its inception, 2,971 blood pressures have been checked, 1,039 body compositions have been measured and more than 13,000 informational handouts have been distributed. In 2006, Victaulic hired Wellness Coaches USA™, a provider of workplace wellness programs, to provide free personal one-on-one coaching to its employees during all three shifts. Two full-time Wellness Coaches are on site to discuss nutrition, exercise and overall health-related issues.
“This program started as a vehicle to provide employees with health-related information,” said Maryellin Treacy, corporate manager of compensation and benefits at Victaulic. “It’s evolved into a valued resource for healthy living and a positive impact on our workplace culture.”
The Victaulic Wellness Coaches organize on-site events including health screenings for cholesterol and blood sugar, hydration screenings and fitness contests. The current contest, which started in April and will conclude in September, is the Biggest Loser Challenge. Periodic weigh-ins and fun events in support of the challenge promote a healthy and friendly competition between the Lehigh Valley sites.
Bill Nagle, a Victaulic employee in Allentown, PA, got involved in the Wellness Program when he decided to quit smoking. He reached out to the coaches to develop a personal exercise plan. They supported his smoking cessation but recommended he see his doctor before ramping up his workout routine. This turned out to be life-changing and life-saving advice.
“With the Wellness Coaches’ advice, I went to my doctor for what should have been routine tests,” Nagle said. “The prognosis was not good. The cardiologist found restrictions in two large arteries. I had stents put in and avoided open heart surgery. The Wellness Coaches guided me the entire time with an improved diet and exercise plan. I saw a 100-point decrease in my cholesterol. Their advice to go see my doctor saved my life. Plain and simple.”
Victaulic reports a dramatic increase in Health Risk Assessment (HRA) involvement in its employees since implementing the Wellness Program. Last year, 80% of Lehigh Valley employees took part in the HRA.
Involvement in the program is completely voluntary and employees receive no compensation or rewards for participating in an HRA. HRAs help employees in their efforts to quit smoking, reduce stress, lose weight and prevent injuries. They’ve also added some forward-thinking elements including a pre-shift stretching program to reduce the risk of injuries at work.
In an effort to encourage employees to get involved on a larger scale, Victaulic developed a Wellness Action Team for employee volunteers to help promote and run events. Volunteers contribute to the education of their fellow employees by posting information sheets on select health-related topics in highly trafficked areas and assist with special events.