Curt Ignacio, president and CEO of Marion Body Works, Inc., wants to make sure his employees have the tips, tools and opportunities to make healthy lifestyle choices. “What can we do – to do our best – to put in front of people opportunities to be healthy?” he said.
The company formed a wellness committee in 2004. In 2008, it offered health risk assessments that were done on site for those with the company health insurance.
But the reality was the people on the wellness committee, while trying to provide healthy opportunities for fellow employees, were also employees too. “They really don’t have time to chase all those things down so they can support it,” he said.
The company turned to ThedaCare At Work. “They bring to the table experiences from other businesses and the ability to package stuff better,” said Ignacio. “It is a big help for us.”
There are 225 employees with roughly 170 doing assembly work, fabrication work, painting and other skilled jobs. The rest of the employees are office support, purchasing, sales, engineers and other professionals.
Carmen Honnef, a registered dietitian nutritionist with ThedaCare, enjoys going to Marion to help as a health coach. She provides and supports programs like a popular Biggest Loser competition that included 11 teams with 55 individuals. About seven teams completed the program. A total of 313 pounds were lost. She also introduces healthy eating with recipes and fitness programs like walks. All of this, done right on site, brings the importance of a healthy lifestyle front and center. “A lot of times if you are in the plant, you don’t have the capability to leave your line for 15 minutes for an appointment,” she said. “They see the health coach on a regular basis and in their work area. I’m out there rather than waiting for them to come in when they can or cannot, based on time.”
Honnef has been at Marion for about 18 months and has seen improvement in overall health risk assessment scores “Marion Body Works has employees who do care and a management that supports it,” she said. “It’s fun to watch it come together, that transition to better health.”
Making strides toward a healthier lifestyle helps employee productivity and retention and decreases loss of sick time and injury time. “This is an opportunity for employees to reach out and expand their knowledge on wellness and prevention,” said Honnef.
The changes are not happening overnight but employees embrace new fitness and dietary ideas. When employees participate together, the benefits increase. “And they can take that home and engage the families to also support each other,” said Honnef.