APA Center for Organizational Excellence: National Winner

The Awards

Small Not-For-Profit Category

Healthwise

Walking the Talk

Idaho — As a publisher of consumer health information, Healthwise focuses on helping people make better health decisions and this is one company that takes its mission seriously, especially for its own employees. Company bicycles and helmets, a comfy hammock and the option of bringing your dog to work may not conjure up the image of a typical workplace. But with many unique programs, this employer encourages its workforce to live the Healthwise way.

Click here to watch a video clip about Healthwise.

Employee Involvement

Healthwise values its employees’ input and uses their suggestions to make improvements. Twice a year, the company administers an anonymous satisfaction survey to gather employee opinions and ideas for building and enhancing a positive work environment. The Healthwise culture is one of respect, teamwork and doing the right thing. A regular “Culture Check-In” with each team ensures that the company’s core values are maintained, while allowing Healthwise to grow and adapt to changing needs.

Health and Safety

Healthwise employees have access to an extensive workplace wellness program that includes incentives for making healthy lifestyle and behavior choices. The onsite fitness center, flu shots and ergonomic evaluations keep employees healthy and productive year round, and the annual wellness day is packed with activities, guest speakers, health screenings, fitness assessments and personal goal setting. “Lunch and Learn” sessions cover topics that range from acupuncture to nutrition and CPR, and employees receive Healthwise Handbooks that cover 200 of the most common health issues. Employees and their families also have free access to the online Healthwise Knowledgebase which covers more than 6,000 topics.

Employee Growth and Development

The employee-centered approach to training and development at Healthwise includes a volunteer “Mentor Corps” that helps new employees transition into the organization and “Healthwise Way,” a comprehensive program designed to enhance learning and professional growth that is linked to all aspects of staff development and performance management. Healthwise also provides tuition assistance and individual and team allocations for continuing education.

Work-Life Balance

Employees rank workplace flexibility as one of Healthwise’s most attractive features and the company has been publicly recognized for its flexible work options. As they walk through the front doors each morning, employees can scan the Wellness Bulletin Board for upcoming events of interest and opportunities to enhance overall well-being. Additional work-life efforts include a dogs-at-work program, family-friendly policies, an extra holiday for each employee on his or her birthday and generous paid time off. Healthwise monitors work-life balance via employee surveys and even offers an orientation for employees’ partners and families to help familiarize them with the company and the resources available to them.

Employee Recognition

Monthly staff meetings provide a forum for individual recognition, where awards are also presented for service excellence and innovation. The names of employees who have been part of the Healthwise family for more than ten years are displayed in the building lobby, and the company provides employees with special gifts on birthdays and holidays. When it comes to perks, “Healthy Snack Wednesday” is an employee favorite. Staff members gather in the lobby each week for a healthy snack and enjoy a short break to connect with co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Healthwise employees believe in their mission. Not only do they understand how they contribute to the company’s success, they also leverage the organizational culture to enhance their own personal health. Putting the mission into action is a winning approach for employees, who report high levels of overall satisfaction and give the company excellent marks for effective two-way communication, promoting work-life balance and creating a culture of respect.

The workplace programs and policies implemented by Healthwise have truly helped to make the company a leader in the field of consumer health information. Healthwise’s turnover rate of 8 percent is nearly 20 percent lower than the industry average, and receiving 125 to 150 applications for every job opening means that Healthwise has the advantage of being able to select the very best employees from a large pool of talent. Having a roster of satisfied, long-term clients and employees who contribute to the mission every step of the way means that Healthwise can also enjoy the rewards of healthy financial performance.

"The Minnesota Psychological Association award process provides very valuable feedback for any company that understands the tremendous value of transforming the workplace into a truly great place to work."

Paul Grundy, MD, MPH
Well Being Director, West
IBM Global Well Being Services