As part of its commitment to drive healthier lifestyles and work cultures within engineering firms, the ACEC Designed Wellness program – part of the American Council of Engineering Companies’ Life/Health Trust – conducted a champion challenge in 2017. We are excited to share information about our award winners.
With over 150 firms in the Designed Wellness program, there is a need to make sure each firm has the tools and local champions who can make the best use of what ACEC has to offer. Previous research has shown that one key to success is the use of local or “in-house” challenges. Each firm comes up with its own, often creative, ideas about how to raise awareness around wellness and also challenge engineers and staff to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Research on the importance of in-house challenges was documented in a white paper report, released in May, 2017 and can be found here. This document highlights over 40 different types of in-house activities, ranging from providing fresh fruit to employees on a weekly basis to 3-month nutritional or exercise challenges (see Chart). In addition, Lindsay Simone (Director of Wellness) presented the champion model at the September, 2017 Forum for the Health Enhancement Research Organization.
All firm champions were invited to continue to come up with creative ideas. We received about 20 scoreable submissions and our DW Advisory Council reviewed these. Grand prizes were given in three business size firms: Small (less than 50 employees), Medium (50 to 100), Large (100 plus). These awards consisted of a $250 Grand Prize in each of the three firm sizes.
FIRST PRIZE AWARDS
Carolyn Gall from J3 Engineering (LINK) submitted two challenges with about 20 employees participating. A Winter “Water Drinking” challenge encouraged all workers to increase their water intake across successive weeks. As a result, their water cooler had to be replaced three times more often. A second “Monitor your Steps” campaign was designed to help staff prepare for the annual American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb. J3 Engineering paid the entry fees for all the participants and a portion of their donations if they did not raise enough to meet their minimum
Jana Bloebaum from RVW (link) submitted four challenges with over 25 employees participating across them. The most involved Spring Training Challenge encourages employees/spouses to get active, eat healthy, drink more water, and refrain from smoking. Participants tracked progress through a point system, with weekly goals needed to stay in the challenge. Jana sent out emails and posters on a regular basis. Cash gift cards were award.
Laura Weyl from Degenkolb (link) established an internal wellness committee that meets quarterly as a group (and more frequently as needed for subcommittees). They ran four ongoing programs through the wellness committee: (1) A “Healthy Snacks” initiative that provides local fruit and healthy nut, vegetable, cheese, and dried fruit snacks in the kitchens of all or our offices weekly; (2) “Speakers” – bringing in speakers a few times a year to discuss healthy topics such as diet, posture, ergonomics, stress reduction, etc. (3) Annual “Wellness Challenge” administered in the summer where employees are divided into teams and track their physical activity for four weeks competing against other teams for most active, most improved, etc. (4) An internally maintained wiki page where we post interesting articles about wellness, recipes, flu shot updates etc.
Overview of Champion Resources
If you want to consider building yourself up as a champion, you can make use of the many resources ACEC DW has to offer.
First, the easiest thing is to just check out the champion portal, previous champion training webinars, and communication tools:
Next here are some specific tools:
Champion Planning Guide and Needs Assessment Tool: http://aceclifehealthtrust.com/lessons/session-7-planning/
Here is a link to each of the Champion Training Sessions:
Here is a link to our blogs.
Here is a link to our LinkedIn Group. If you have not signed up, please do so now.
Here is a link to the presentation given by Lindsay Simone, Champion Danielle Fournier, and OWLS President Joel Bennett at the HERO conference.