Rani currently serves as Health Plan and Wellness Manager at Duke Realty, one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate companies employing 763 associates. Through Rani’s 7 years with Duke Realty she has participated in the planning, designing, implementing and administering of Duke Realty’s health plan and wellness programs. Career highlights include managing Duke’s wellness program through the achievement of ranking 12th on the list of 2014 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America and through the receipt of 43 wellness recognitions and awards including American Heart Association’s Fit-Friendly Designation and Healthiest Employer awards. Rani has been interviewed by several business journals across the U.S to provide input on what it takes to build a successful wellness program.
Prior to joining Duke Realty, Rani received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a specialization in Industrial Organization Psychology at Purdue University. While pursuing her degree, Rani also studied at Oxford University in England and traveled to Juticalpa, Honduras on a humanitarian mission.
Rani is a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, a member of WELCOA faculty and a graduate of the United Leadership program. Rani enjoys studying nutrition, practicing meditation and can often be found fine tuning her Zumba moves and healthy smoothie recipes!
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology at Purdue University in 2006. While pursuing my degree, I received a scholarship to study at Oxford University and participated in a humanitarian mission to Juticalpa, Honduras where I assisted in delivering 40,000 eye exams and glasses to the underserved population. Post-graduation, I joined Duke Realty’s Human Resource Department where I became one of the fastest promoted associates at the company and currently function as Health Plan and Wellness Manager. I am a certified WELCOA Faculty Member and Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist.
The main wellness concern that we at Duke Realty faced was providing a wellness program that could be inclusive of all associates, spouses and children.
Prior to the development of this intervention, multiple wellness programs were offered however we found that all programs were not inclusive as they addressed only specific populations such as those who needed to stop smoking or those who needed to lose weight.
To address this issue, I garnered the support of our executive team (WELCOA Benchmark 1 –Capturing CEO Support) and Corporate Wellness Council (WELCOA Benchmark 2 – Creating Cohesive Wellness Teams) to implement a comprehensive wellness program that could provide an opportunity for all associates and family members to identify individual health opportunities and work toward the completion of personalized wellness goals.
To motivate associates and family members to participate, a comprehensive incentive program was created and provides additional vacation days, merchandise from an online mall, charitable donations and workplace recognition.
To keep participants engaged, I designed a supportive environment through the following methods: (WELCOA Benchmark 6 – Creating a Supportive Environment)
At the onset of the participation, is measurement including (WELCOA Benchmark 3 - Collecting Data to Drive Health Efforts) health scores, lifestyle assessment followed by each participant receiving their risk-adjusted age. Education and personalized goals (WELCOA Benchmark 5 – Choosing Appropriate Interventions) follow the measurement process to allow participants to work toward increased wellness.
Significant success and outcomes of the Duke Realty’s wellness program since the implementation of these interventions include (WELCOA Benchmark 7 – Carefully Evaluating Outcomes):
2014 Healthiest Employer of Central Florida
2014 Healthiest Employer of Cincinnati
2014 Healthiest Employer of Greater Washington
2014 Healthiest Employer of Illinois
2014 Healthiest Employer of Nashville
2014 Healthiest Employer of North Texas
2014 Healthiest Employer of South Florida
2014 American Heart Association Fit Friendly Designation
I have served as a leader by managing 16 members of the Wellness Council and mentoring multiple companies in the development of their wellness programs. I walk the talk by visibly participating in all wellness initiatives and inviting associates along to participate in wellness activities I participate in both on my professional and personal time. Meditation, gratitude journaling, Zumba and strength training are all parts of my daily practice to live the best life possible. I truly believe that with every bite we eat, we are either feeding or fighting disease and embody this by bringing all meals to work with me.
My advice to those seeking leadership positions and what I believe has propelled me forward is to continuously seek out learning opportunities. To continue my learning, I have studied the needs of the population I serve; developed mentors, stayed current on wellness literature, studied best practices, achieved WELCOA Faculty status and received the Corporate Wellness Specialist Certification.
To further embed wellness in to the culture of all 18 Duke markets, in 2013 I proposed and implemented the internal Excellence in Wellness Award. Each market submits their annual wellness plan and the Excellence in Wellness Award application. This award was created to recognize the market that best exemplifies commitment to taking wellness to the next level and creates some healthy competition among markets. The winning market is presented with a trophy by an executive and each wellness participant in the winning market receives an extra vacation day.
Successes of this wellness intervention include the following:
My vision for the future is a world where companies understand the full value of allowing employees to nurture their health at work. Gym class does not have to end after high school! As children, we learn the value of physical fitness on our bodies. Off to college and employment, we often lose sight of these gifts.
I see a world where health is even further embedded to the fabric of our companies and where companies join forces to share ideas and create space for employees to practice the art of healthy living including company-allotted time for exercise and ongoing support for healthy eating and stress management.
In the next 5 years, I will advance the industry by continuing to learn from the best and rising each day with renewed passion to make a positive impact on the health of my community.