Friday, March 22, 2013
The US division of the company for which I work has been in the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For awards in Michigan for the last I don't know how many years. At least for the 7 years I worked there.
That's a pretty good feeling knowing you work for a company considered one of the best in the state.
This year though (well, 2012) is different.
This year we've made the NATIONAL awards! We are one of the best companies to work for across the entire country.
A good part of the reason is due to the company's encouragement of health and exercise. For the past few years there has been a Wellness Committee that sponsors periodic challenges like eating the recommended servings of freggies every day, cutting out caffeine, walking/running miles, fitness minutes, etc. people started getting together to run or bike races, there is a company sponsored soccer team and a basketball team. In 2011 a few of us independently ran the Warrior Dash; in 2012 we signed up to run it together and brought more people in. This year there is a company team to run the Tough Mudder (sadly I can't participate since I am not in the US). There is a growing presence in the annual MS 150 mile bike ride every year.
You get the idea.
OK, yes, part of the company's motivation for these activities is to keep health care costs down....healthy people are cheaper to ensure. But so what? It is still a great benefit to the individuals and participation is voluntary. Before anyone starts in about unfair discrimination based on personal habits, no one pays different rates because they choose to participate or not, or because of their choice to smoke, or their weight, or etc. I have personal opinions on this topic which I am not going to share in this blog; the company policy is fair and participation is strictly voluntary with no negative repercussions for non-participation.
And you can see the progress year over year.
And the absolute best part? In honor of the national award this year I get a new shirt!
OK, that's tongue in cheek, but collecting race shirts is a little bit addictive.
The absolute best part is working for a company that is focused on more than how many hours of work it can squeeze from the employees for the least amount of cost. The company walks the talk about caring for its employees and one can see the evolution over time.
Today discussions over footwear and stride are common, over the proper lifting form, or the pros and cons of which tires to use when. People notice what you're eating and ask for the recipe...not snidely ask if you are "on a diet" and then offer you a donut.
The evolution of a health revolution.