General News

These 4 Healthcare Investments Helped Us Improve Supply Chain Employee Retention

Supply chain jobs have gotten a bad rap for having high turnover, low pay, and few benefits. Logistics employers sometimes have a hard time filling open positions or retaining employees. MWCold has faced this issue as well. That is, until we decided to conduct an audit of our employee benefits and designed programming to support the unique needs of the supply chain worker.


Ten years ago, the wellness of our team was so poor that its increased insurance rates, created more sick time, and higher staff turnover.  As a result, MWCold’s healthcare coverage was dropped by our carrier.  To turn things around, MWCold hired our first Director of Wellness and Employee Engagement, Jennifer Foley. In the now decade of her tenure, Jennifer has put together numerous programs to improve employee wellness, decrease insurance costs, support company leaders and to create a more interconnective culture.


Annual Health Assessments


MWCold conducted an in-depth analysis of employee healthcare usage. What was made clear during this process was that our employees were skipping their annual physicals and not choosing a primary care physician. For employees who did not choose a doctor we saw higher healthcare cost due to emergency room and urgent care usage. In addition, our insurance plan covers the cost of an annual physical. To insure employee compliance in obtaining an annual physical MWCOLD gives each employee 2 hours of Wellness time off to see their doctor.   Many MWCold employees come from a mindset that is disconnected from the medical care system. This makes it challenging for our employees to engage in their own management of chronic health diagnosis and to play an active part in the prevention of potential health concerns.  To remedy this, MWCold now incentivizes our employees to participate in 4 steps per year to receive the Wellness Insurance Initiative. This Wellness Insurance Incentive gives compliant employees $25 dollars a week, or $1,300 a year- back towards the cost of their health insurance.


MWCold Wellness Insurance Initiative 4 step plan


  1. Complete a yearly Health Risk Assessment located in the MWCold Employee Portal.
  2. Annual physical, identifying primary care doctor. In addition, each employee is given 2 hours of wellness time off to complete this physical.
  3. Pass a nicotine screen or complete 6 smoking cessation sessions with onsite Tobacco Treatment Specialist.
  4. Participate in 4 coaching sessions with either Preventia Coaches or onsite with Jennifer.


Continual Connection to Health and Human Resources


An annual physical is a great start, but bodies need more upkeep than once a year. MWCold provides all employees with access to an online portal where information can be reviewed such as personal test results, goal tracking, and continued wellness education classes. This portal has become a hub for employee programs and community resources — childcare resources, legal assistance, mental health connections, rehabilitation services, wellness challenges, training modules for career advancement, and time off for community service.


Most recently, resources for new needs concerning COVID-19 have been a focus on the platform with information on rent assistance, testing, symptoms, and access to free personal protective equipment like masks and gloves. This portal continues to grow and change as the needs of the MWCold family do, and the free information and resources give employees the step up to tackle the difficulties life may be handing them without jeopardizing their ability to work and provide for their families.


Smoking Cessation Incentives


Smoking is a health epidemic of choice and culture that affects smokers and nonsmokers alike, leading to discomfort, health problems, and premature death. For this reason, MWCold has built a culture around a smoke free campus to encourage employees to maintain our culture of health and Wellness. Employees must clock out and leave the MWCold facility to smoke, choosing not to get paid for that break time and incentivizing those who choose to stay with a paid break. Jennifer is trained as a Mayo Clinic Tobacco Treatment Specialist and is available to meet with employees free of charge. Additional coaching is made available to employees  through an online coaching company  called Preventia.   Employees can use Preventia coaches to complete their 4 meetings towards their yearly Wellness Insurance Incentive.  If employees  continue on with 6 coaching sessions they have the opportunity to earn either ½ a point off towards attendance or ½ an ETO Day.


Celebration and Community Check Ins


In addition to putting in the work together, the MWCold team celebrates together at monthly all hands meetings we call “The Blast”. These meetings cover standard managerial updates but also acknowledge wellness goals achieved for individuals and monthly cash giveaways for qualifying team members. And at the end of every year, MWCold elects a wellness champion based on an employee’s work ethic, leadership skills, trust, attitude, and health goals and awards $500 and a paid day off for winning.


Investing in employee wellness has created a win-win for personnel and management at MWCold. Workers receive access to top quality care and support; managers see increased retention, focus and energy levels; and the company benefits from decreased insurance and hiring costs.

Tags: General News

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