Innovations Operations JVM’s wellness program featured in National Apartment Association’s e-news! January 21, 2016

New Year’s resolutions typically center on self-improvement — physical, mental, organizational. And a companywide health-and-wellness program may be just the tool that employees need to help them develop a plan and achieve their goals. JVM Management plans to adopt such a system in 2016. Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Mary Herrold shared the details of how the company plans to roll out the program for employees.

National Apartment Association (NAA): What were the primary reasons for putting this program into place?

Mary Herrold: First, we want to build a culture of well-being; healthy people are happy, and happy people are productive. Second, we want to help our associates learn about their own health and health risks. Third, we want to teach people how to fit healthy eating and exercise into their busy lives. Finally, we want people to have some fun. And those are the underlying goals and reasons why we’re doing this.

NAA: What kind of statistics did you find as you researched your program?

Herrold: We took stock of our current health and wellness programs, and we did some research on  what other companies do. What we found was that the larger the size of a company, the more components they had in their wellness program.  Large employers, which are considered 3,000-plus employees, typically have nearly 10 components.  Medium employers, which are categorized as 100 to 2,999 employees, have nearly eight components, and small employers have five programs on average. We found that only  41 percent have biometric screening, 57 percent have health-risk assessment, 50 percent have wellness coaching and only 59 percent have health and fitness-types of challenges.

Regardless of our size, we want to deliver a top-notch wellness program and first-class benefits. It helps us attract and retain top talent.  We are looking forward to a healthy, happy, productive future starting with 2016!  .

NAA: How did you incorporate these into the plans you have for 2016?

Herrold: Our program kicks off in January. We have asked that all associates to sign up for a biometric screening, which is conducted in-person and is completely private and confidential. From February through April, we are offering health assessments.

We’re also having an education seminar in April, a walking contest in May, weight-loss contest July through August, educational seminar October, and throughout the entire year monthly wellness communication in a variety of mediums — we’ll have emails, newsletters, things posted on our intranet. So we’re going to keep health and wellness top of mind.

NAA: That sounds great. In terms of getting employee participation, is this mandatory for all employees, or are there incentives to get them to participate?

Herrold: We hope everybody wants to participate, and we’re going to do our best to promote participation and encourage people to get involved. Saying life balance and wellness are mandatory seems counterintuitive. We do have a fund that we’ve developed to reward participation. The first step to getting rewarded is participation in the biometric screening. For this, there will be a drawing for a $50 gift card.. The value of the incentives will grow throughout the year based on success. The more participation, the more valuable the rewards.

NAA: Has any of this been revealed to your employees?

Herrold: We are announcing the new program at our annual awards luncheons that we have in each region. The reactions here at the corporate office have been extremely positive. Everybody’s talking about it. I, myself, have more pep in my step. I will know if we are successful when I get on the scale in about six months!

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