Tailored Label Products Success Story
Wellness That’s Tailored to Fit Company’s Needs
Tailored Label Products’ health risk assessment data showed employees were not eating the recommended amount of fresh fruit or vegetables. Now, the company provides the nutritious snacks in its common areas every week.
Menomonee Falls manufacturer Tailored Label Products is recognized nationwide for its high quality, custom labels created for its customers in the automotive, medical, electrical and industrial fields.
So it’s no surprise that the company has taken a tailored approach to improving the health and well-being of its employees.
Tailored Label first dipped its toe into employee wellness in 2004, at the urging of an employee wellness champion and with the support of top management. After several years of implementing wellness efforts on its own, the company hired Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Workforce Health to perform health risk assessments and to begin to understand in depth the overall health status of its employees.
“When I approached our president, Mike Erwin, about helping employees learn more and exercise more, he didn’t even hesitate,” said Deb Becht-Soliday, District Technical Sales and the company’s “wellness champion.” “He just said, ‘Yes, let’s do it.’ ”
Initially, employees who wanted to participate tracked the minutes of walking or exercise they did at home, during lunches or at the gym. The company supplemented the cost of athletic shoes and gym memberships and motivated employees to meet small goals by earning “Fitness Bucks” and gift certificates to a sports store for meeting larger goals. Wellness sessions every other month have featured outside experts to demonstrate workouts with exercise bands, a nutritionist to discuss how to make the most out of a grocery store stop, and employees themselves to learn about holiday appetizer nutrition.
Now, with Workforce Health, participating employees complete a health risk assessment that lets them know their risks for disease. Workforce Health educators conduct onsite, one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their results and provide a blueprint to improved health.
In addition to the one-on-one coaching with staff, Workforce Health clients receive an aggregate, data driven summary that explains how the company’s overall health is progressing and ways to improve its numbers. Tailored Label Products’s overall health summary showed that a number of employees were overweight and could benefit from healthier food choices. Nutrition was such a concern among employees after reviewing the summary report that a dietitian now makes a monthly visit to the company to meet with employees.
“They feel more accountable because of her presence; it’s forefront in their mind what they need to do,” Becht-Soliday said.
Nicole Bengtson, the registered dietitian on site, gives the employees small suggestions for diet that make a big impact. Since the initial HRA six years ago, they have seen their triglycerides and other cholesterol levels improve.
“The employees at Tailored Label Products are excited their cholesterol has improved through diet and not through something else, like medication,” Bengston said.
Forty percent of the employees working with the dietitian lost an average of 3.25 pounds in a three-month period. Many behavioral changes have been made as well, such as getting more sleep at night, reducing alcohol intake and increasing physical activity. Improvements in employee health such as these pay off, often on an average of $3 savings on an employer’s overall health care costs for every dollar invested.
Wellness Partner In The Community
Tailored Label Products is a company that gives back to the community and wanted to partner with a local health provider, Becht-Soliday explained.
“It’s important that our wellness partner is a member of our community,” Becht-Soliday said. “I think it’s made our program stronger. Workforce Health is very responsive and easy to work with. The wellness program builds camaraderie among our employees.”
Becht-Soliday said she appreciates the responsiveness and the coordination that Workforce Health brings to the wellness process.
“It’s a lot to coordinate the HRA process, for example. Workforce Health brings in at least four staff to provide private services in rooms onsite. The company provides a healthy breakfast afterwards because it is necessary to fast before the blood test.”
The program is voluntary and not all of Tailored Label Products’ 70 employees take advantage of the program, but those who do participate like it.
Having been involved since its inception, Becht-Soliday knows what makes the company’s wellness program successful.
She encourages other companies interested in wellness programs to make it easy for employees to participate and as fun as possible. Incentives help, even if they’re small like Tailored Label Product’s Fitness Bucks.
“What really contributes the most is that the president and leadership really believe in being healthy,” Becht-Soliday said. “They have a commitment to happy, healthy employees and that’s where it has to start. That’s definitely been the success factor.”
Tailored Label Products’ experience is a testament to the hallmarks of successful wellness programs. Active and long-term collaboration with a wellness partner such as Workforce Health is critical to the desired results of cost savings and employee retention. In addition, wellness programs thrive in companies where leaders at all levels are passionate, persistent and persuasive about its benefits.
“Our president really does dig in to how we’re doing,” Becht-Soliday said. “This commitment comes from him.”