Having healthy occupants is important for any company or building. While measuring employee health can be challenging, integrated approaches to employee health, safety and wellbeing lead to better business outcomes, according to Robert McLellan, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. These benefits include:
- Increased productivity
- Lower absenteeism
- Improvements in talent acquisition and retention
- Other areas not directly reflected in healthcare costs
Images courtesy of 3form
Employees are often turning to financial incentives as a way to encourage healthy lifestyles. The 10th annual Health and Well-Being Survey from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health found that 40% of corporate well-being programs include incentives for employees and their spouses/domestic partners to participate in these programs.
Financial incentives for wellbeing aren’t going away: 33% of employers plan to increase the amount of incentives over the next three to five years.
After dealing with personal health issues and the associated costs, materials manufacturer 3form’s CFO Wynn Clayton pushed for a companywide program to benefit employee health financially and physically.
Creating a Space for Employee Health
To achieve these goals, Clayton and his team at 3form renovated a previously unused part of the building into a healthy oasis. The second floor of 3form’s Salt Lake City campus now includes a 14,500-square-foot gym complete with equipment, multi-purpose workout rooms, a training staff and an on-site healthcare clinic staffed with a doctor and nurse practitioner.
Following the opening of the facility, 3form implemented a policy that says employees who use the gym and comply with a set of health metrics would qualify for discounts on monthly healthcare payments.
December 2018 marked a milestone for the program: 3form had seen such a savings on healthcare costs that December coverage was offered to employees free of charge. In 2019, 3form healthcare coverage costs didn’t increase.
“The company controlled high risk by helping people to keep up with their personal healthcare on a regular basis,” Clayton notes. Several employees have told him that "you probably saved my life."
3form employees and their spouses have access to the gym and clinic as much as they want. 3form is now self-insured, so with their new healthcare program, their rates go up or down as a group. This creates support within the group to keep the group as a whole accountable and healthy.
This level of accountability requires frequent health risk assessments, which means that all employees must go to a doctor once a year for a full check-in, including blood tests. If a health risk assessment yields results outside the standards defined by 3form’s new insurance program, employees must address results and determine how to get themselves back within the standards with their physician, Clayton explains. Employees get points for going to the gym/using a trainer that count toward their overall assessment.
3form Incorporates its Own Products
A unique feature of the gym is that many of 3form’s own sustainable building materials are found throughout the space. Since a number of 3form’s offerings are ideal for high-traffic areas where cleanability is of concern, it was a natural fit.
In designing the gym, Clayton worked with Brent Cooke, general manager at Utah’s Sports Mall. They toured several gyms around Salt Lake City to determine equipment types and setups for 3form’s gym. Cooke recommended positioning all machines in the center of the gym, surrounded by a track for cardio workouts.
3form products can be seen throughout the space: Shower doors are 3form’s Painterly pattern in pressed glass, dressing rooms have sliding 3form doors, a feature wall in the locker room is made of Varia Ecoresin resin panels, all counter tops are rigid and durable Chroma products and Struttura room dividers can be found between rooms.
“The space needed to stay light and bright, and the use of 3form products -- especially in the gym and surrounding multi-purpose rooms -- allowed for the passage of light to keep things open and breathable,” Clayton says.
The employees are embracing the space and the program. Beyond workout equipment and a track, there’s a cycling room and multipurpose room for group activities. Most classes are taught by employees who have become certified instructors. 3form offers the classes for no extra charge in the morning, over lunch time and after work.
“All of these spaces flow and function together so a large number of employees can use the gym and workout rooms simultaneously with ease and comfort,” Clayton says.