Building a culture of good health makes excellent business sense and San Diego’s Healthiest Companies winners recognize the value of employee engagement. While it is important to have the support and buy-in from the C-suite, it is equally important to involve middle management to form meaningful connections with all employees.

Effective managers have the pulse of the workplace and are instrumental in developing and executing communication plans for wellness initiatives to engage employees.

This year’s nominees embraced technology for communications with 92 percent using email, the company intranet (73 percent), and social media (60 percent). Others incorporated QR codes, software apps, YouTube videos and podcasts.

But the most popular form of communication (97 percent) remains face-to-face meetings. Most companies (94 percent) incorporate messages of employee health and wellness into their company meetings.

Building a culture of good health extends beyond the workplace and into the home and the community. That is why all of the nominees (100 percent) include employees’ families/households in wellness communications.

Nearly all of the nominees (97 percent) support individual and corporate citizenship through sponsored programs, such as the Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society walks/races, volunteer community work, and charitable contribution matching programs.

While many nominees achieved success through financial incentives, giveaways, social programs and friendly competitions; true sustainable success happens when employees view a culture

of good health as “just another day at

the office”.

Emerging Trend

San Diego Healthiest Companies embrace an emerging trend in wellness, known as “population health management”.

Population health management brings groups together to combine resources for improving health outcomes through three types of management scenarios: 1) segments within the company, 2) groupings by industry, 3) public and private collaboration.

Segments within the company bring employees with similar backgrounds and needs together. For example, most (65 percent) of one nominee’s employee population have a Doctor of Philosophy degree and their native homes are outside the U.S. By customizing health education, the company assists the employees in the transition into the U.S. health care system and gains a better understanding of the cultural needs of this segment of their population.

Groupings by industry enhance wellness initiatives and activities by pooling resources. For example, the hospitality industry typically has a multi-lingual workforce with limited access to computers. By joining forces throughout the industry, employers are able to combine communication resources and share ideas that meet the needs of their unique population.

Public and private collaboration is a national trend where San Diego has taken great strides. San Diego’s wellness initiative, Live Well, San Diego unites public, private and non-profit sectors in transforming the health of San Diegans. Their success caught the eye of Microsoft that is sponsoring a series of forums on effective public and private partnerships for achieving healthier communities.

In March 2012, Microsoft and San

Diego leaders co-hosted Live Well San Diego: Innovations in Public-Private Collaboration. The forum explored innovative solutions between business and health, programs for encouraging healthy, active children, and the use of employee wellness as a strategic driver for healthier companies.

San Diego’s Healthiest Companies value their investment in health and protect their investment with smart business strategy that builds a culture of good health in the workplace and the community.

We congratulate the 20 winners and all of the nominees for the 2012 San Diego Healthiest Companies. We wish you continued health and success. Please see page 42 for a complete list of winning companies.

John Kahle is Chief Wellness Officer for Intercare Insurance Solutions, a San Diego-based full service brokerage and consulting firm.

Submitted by Intercare Insurance Solutions