October 11, 2021
Each year, the Healthiest Employers® awards program honors the best and brightest in workplace wellness. Over the past year and a half, it has become apparent that when it comes to employees’ overall well-being, employers have an incredible opportunity to offer benefits that fit an employee’s unique needs – regardless of where they are in their health journey.
The Healthiest Employers assessment is scored Rubric style on a 1-100 scale. The assessment is made up of six categories with yes/no, multiple choice, and short answer questions, with each question totaling .25-3 points. A Healthiest Employers Index (HEI) is assigned to each applicant to help rank among companies of similar size.
The 6 categories evaluated:
- Culture and Leadership Commitment
- Foundational Components
- Strategic Planning
- Communications and Marketing
- Programming and Interventions
- Reporting and Analytics
The following organizations were named to the Healthiest Employers of Washington, D.C. for the 2021 nomination period. Congratulations to our 1st place winners!
1st American Speech-Language Hearing Association – Rockville
The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 218,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Over the past year and a half, they have provided more than 150 programs for staff and retirees that promote mental health and well-being. In May of 2020, during the height of COVID-19, ASHA hired a Wellbeing Navigator to help manage their wellness program and provide the necessary resources to employees to effectively complete their jobs in a different work environment.
“We certainly did not expect the outbreak of a global pandemic in early 2020, with all of its challenges to the way we approach employee wellbeing. We’ve been able to offer ongoing support and greatly expand our long-standing wellbeing programming throughout the pandemic in large part due to the addition of the Wellbeing Navigator.” – Arlene Pietranton, CEO
1st Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP – Washington, D.C.
Akin Gump is a global law firm with more than 900 lawyers and advisors who pride themselves on dedication to their clients and their communities, with 20 offices worldwide. Historically, many individuals in the legal field struggle with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld proactively put programs in place to ensure that their employees were taken care of, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Their commitment focuses on providing educational opportunities on these common industry issues and creating a leave policy for substance abuse and mental health issues. Additionally, if needed, employees are provided access to addiction and mental health counselors, with a licensed mental health advisor onsite to provide help confidentially. Since 2019, their mental health advisor program has witnessed a 144% increase in engagement due to their de-stigmatizing of mental health issues.
“We continue to stay true to our benefits programs’ guiding principles to meet people where they are and approach well-being from a holistic and inclusive perspective. By offering a wide array of tools and resources, we are able to best support our personnel on their well-being journey. For example, even pre-pandemic, we had a focus on mental/emotional well-being and self-care. This commitment strengthened during lockdown. We consistently see high participation in monthly mental health webinars and utilization of our Mental Health Advisors for one-on-one counseling has increased substantially. Understanding that needs are varied, other programs like financial well-being initiatives also remain important and have prompted positive actions from participants. Also, firm personnel continue to exhibit their commitment to giving back to the community through charitable giving and volunteering. It brings me great satisfaction to see our program being utilized to its fullest to support and help personnel achieve their well-being goals.” – Kimm Isgar, Director of Health and Well-Being Benefits
1st Montgomery County Public Schools – Rockville
Montgomery County Public Schools is a school district in Rockville, Maryland, serving approximately 160,564 students across 209 schools. For the last 6 years, employees who use tobacco products have had an additional surcharge to their medical premiums. After they are free of tobacco for one year or complete a tobacco cessation course, their surcharge is waived, encouraging healthier habits among their population. Individuals who participated in this incentive not only quit smoking, but also changed their health behaviors in other areas of wellness.
“I strongly support and embrace the culture of wellness that we are building throughout MCPS. We are committed to improving the health of all employees and retirees while at the same time improving productivity at work and reducing our healthcare costs. We believe that our wellness program provides our employees and retirees with information and opportunities to make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle and make healthy choices. We are fortunate to have Mrs. Lisa G. Cooperstein, Wellness Coordinator, leading our efforts, and Mr. Richard C. Johnstone, Director of Benefits Strategy and Vendor Relations, supporting her in these efforts and encouraging our health plan partners to align with our programs.” – Krishna Tallur, Director Employee and Retiree Services
The Healthiest Employers® survey is scored and powered by Springbuk, a health intelligence platform that simplifies data-driven decision-making with an intuitive user experience, predictive modeling, and curated action steps. Since 2009, Healthiest Employers has been the leading recognition program for employee wellness. Today, we currently host award ceremonies in over 45 regions across the country and applicants are not only eligible for local recognition, but also have the chance to earn a spot on the Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America. This national award takes the highest scoring applicants from all locations, company sizes, and industries. To sign up for the Healthiest Employers newsletter and get more information on our events, join our mailing list today!