This week was especially gratifying for me because we officially launched our company’s Healthy Living Initiative by holding our first Health Task Force meeting. A little background…
Like many companies, we were hit with healthcare premium increases of more than 30 percent back in December. I had to figure out some way to deal with this huge cost increase. Besides sharing some of these costs with the company’s employees, I wanted to come up with a long-term way we could improve the health of our employees and their families, and, at the same time, lower our healthcare premiums.
As I was preparing for my “state of the company” address at our holiday luncheon in December, it came to me. Since our company mission is “To Change the Way America Eats,” it only made sense to start at home, right here at Frieda’s. So, I invited every department in our company to ask for volunteers for a company-wide task force.
No managers are part of our Health Task Force. Five employees — one from each department — will meet regularly to come up with recommendations for making us healthier. I was excited to learn that each member came to the meeting with their own list of ideas, and they have already scheduled a second meeting in two weeks.
My vision is that our Health Task Force will come up with three initiatives at a time that they will share with all employees. (Perhaps they will create a “no junk food sold in the building” rule, or schedule voluntary nutrition education classes at lunchtime.) This will be a ground-up movement that will get employees excited about being healthier, while promoting teamwork and better communication. And at the end of 2010, when we get our new healthcare premiums, I am hoping to see a more positive result.
This is a long-term commitment for Frieda’s, and with Healthcare Reform on everyone’s mind, I know that companies (large and small) will have to do their part to educate all Americans.
Of course, I have to do my part. Today, I walked into the office munching on my snack of Lady Apples! I love their small size, sweet flavor and crisp texture. Fuji apples used to be my favorite, but the ones I’ve bought lately are flavorless.
Why don’t you adopt your own Healthy Living Initiative for 2010, at home or at work. It’s easy.
Here are some resources with healthy living tips: