As the Human Resources & Wellness Coordinator for Faith Technologies, Inc., a leading electrical and specialty systems contractor with over 1,800 employees, Alyssa is responsible for providing general coordination to the Human Resources department, as well as administering the Wellness function throughout the company. Alyssa has been in the HR field for seven years and promoting wellness for the last four years. In her wellness role, she implements and coordinates the health and wellness initiatives throughout the company through employee programs, continuous health communications, annual Health Risk Assessments, as well as tracking and measuring the effectiveness of Faith Technologies’ wellness offerings, and implementing changes when necessary. In addition, Alyssa facilitates wellness committee meetings to aid in spreading Faith Technologies’ wellness vision to the branch level.
I received my Bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Wisconsin – Green Bay in 2007. In 2014, I proudly became a WELCOA Faculty member. During the time I’ve been overseeing wellness, Faith Technologies has accepted the following prestigious awards:
Milwaukee Healthiest Employer – 2014
WELCOA Gold Level Well Workplace Award – 2013
Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America Semi-Finalist – 2013
Health at Work Award – 2013, 2012
Kansas City Healthiest Employer – 2013, 2012
My personal interest in health and my desire to help people led me into this role. My WELCOA certification has assisted in giving me wellness knowledge and expertise.
Faith Technologies’ wellness program began in 2004. As the years progressed, our company has been known for its healthy culture. Our latest employee Health Culture Audit shows great results as it relates to our culture - 90% of survey respondents indicated that they were encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle, and 65% stated that our leaders modeled good health practices.
When I stepped into the role of Wellness Coordinator in 2010, I wanted to bring fresh ideas and new programs. The same initiatives had been done each year, so I wanted to create excitement and introduce new programs and initiatives each year in order to keep people interested. In 2012, we started following WELCOA’s 7 Benchmarks in order to have a wellness program that was the best-of-the-best. We rolled out new programs which were a huge success, all while making sure there was a program each year that focused on physical activity, stress management, self-care, nutrition and tobacco cessation. We reached higher than usual participation numbers and through program evaluations, received great feedback on all programs offered. Now that we’ve seen positive results and have tremendous support from management, myself and our wellness committee will continue to look into innovative programs to offer to our employees and their dependents and we have carefully crafted these programs into our operating plan.
At Faith Technologies, I believe our most successful and distinctive aspect of our wellness program is our progressive approach to our Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) in order to identify risk factors and lifestyle issues. Our latest HRA results had a participation rate of 93% among those enrolled in the Faith Technologies health insurance coverage - this is up from 81% two years ago. Tying the completion of the HRA to a reduction in health insurance premium cost has given us impressive participation over the years.
Despite an average age increase over the last five years, we improved our Health Risk Assessment scores by 6 points. We also decreased those in the extreme risk category by 6% and increased those in the minimal risk category by 10%!
Covering wellness/routine visits at 100%, along with offering health risk assessments has increased employees'/dependents' awareness of their health. Over the past six years, we’ve experienced higher routine/preventative visits compared to normative statistics. We’re averaging 25% above norms, including spouses and dependents. For the last two years, we have also lowered our medical costs by over a million dollars each year. In 2013, we saved more than 28% on medical costs compared to 2011.
Additionally, over the past couple of years, individuals have approached me indicating that their HRA results raised red flags for them see their doctor for further testing. A few instances have resulted in various surgeries, including heart surgery. There have been several cases where the HRA was life-saving for our employees.
No one is going to take you seriously if you encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle, if you aren’t living one yourself. I find it extremely important to provide a healthy environment for my family, as well as those who look to me for guidance and assistance in improving their health. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, staying tobacco free and completing training in the area of wellness are the base of supporting my important role in this company. I strive to lead this company in a healthy direction.
Without the skills I’ve learned through the WELCOA certifications, I wouldn’t be the wellness leader that I am today. The comprehensive training provided by WELCOA has helped me gain the knowledge and expertise needed to succeed in this role.
I would encourage other wellness practitioners to build trust among your employees, lead by example, constantly educate yourself in the ever-changing health field and recognize your influence.
Although new wellness incentive programs are introduced each year, there is one wellness program in particular that we’ve provided every year since 2007. This past year, I was able to increase participation in that program by 50% by adjusting the program to coincide with evaluation results in order to give employees what they want in a program. I’ve also started to introduce financial wellness into our initiatives, and rolled out our first financial wellness incentive program this year with over 200 employees and spouses enrolled. After reviewing employee interest surveys and program evaluations, I quickly realized that our 15 branch locations had different interests in what they wanted in a wellness program. In 2012, I introduced branch specific wellness programs where each location is designated a month throughout the year to have their own 2-4 week program based on the interests and/or problem areas at that specific branch location.
I believe the biggest threats to the health promotion industry are increasing healthcare costs, increased obesity rates and lack of employee buy-in. I believe that achieving buy-in from leadership and program participants is key – we need to assist them in becoming better healthcare consumers and provide them with the resources and support they need to achieve wellness success. I strongly believe that with the growing trend of worksite wellness programs, together we can take control of healthcare spending and lower obesity rates. My vision is to provide a preeminent wellness program, while educating the importance of worksite wellness programs and encouraging individuals to practice healthy initiatives not only at work, but at home as well so they can pass on what they’ve learned to their families. Increasing employee engagement and continuing to grow our wellness program to fit the needs and wants of our employees is my objective.