#4 Delta Airlines – Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America

November 29, 2021 – Delta Air Lines is the U.S. global airline leader in safety, innovation, reliability, and customer experience. Today, and always, nothing is more important than the health, wellbeing, and safety of our customers and employees. Jae Kullar, General Manager of Global Health and Wellbeing, shared some context behind the success of their program.

#4 Delta Airlines – Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America

Delta Airlines

Prioritizing Mental Health to Encourage Employee Wellbeing

November 29, 2021

Ranking: #4

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Full-Time Employee Count: 79,500

About: Delta Air Lines is the U.S. global airline leader in safety, innovation, reliability, and customer experience. Today, and always, nothing is more important than the health, wellbeing, and safety of our customers and employees.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Delta has nearly 80,000 employees across the globe, and serves as many as 200 million people a year—taking customers across an industry-leading global network of up to 300 destinations in over 50 countries.

At Delta, we are all about the journey for both our customers and our people. We strongly believe wellbeing is a journey because there is no one-size-fits-all answer to health and wellbeing.Through Delta Wellbeing, we are empowering employees to live well, both in and out of the workplace through a variety of programs and initiatives.

Jae Kullar, General Manager of Global Health and Wellbeing, shared some context behind the success of their program.

Q: What specific element of your program is moving the needle for your well-being program and positively affecting your employees' health?

A: Delta's emotional wellbeing program has been a huge part of our business over the last 12 months during the pandemic. We weave the information we receive from employees into our programs and resources so that they are best-suited to address the challenges we are facing globally.

The use of social media and technology has allowed us to host webinars with everyone in our organization no matter where they are located. A few topics we have covered have been on coping with uncertainty, addressing mental health and racial inequity, and emotional fatigue and burnout.

We also have an exceptional Wellness Counsel, Leader, and Wellness Champion network with more than 630 wellness leaders who help promote our mission and programs.

“Caring for our people is core to who we are at Delta. Our approach to healthcare involves looking at an employee’s total wellbeing – their physical, emotional, financial, and social health. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously because our people deserve the best.” – Joanne Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer

Q: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how did your organization work to create a "Pandemic Plan" and what factors did you take into consideration when making these decisions? What effects of this plan are still in motion today and/or in the foreseeable future?

A: Based on scientific research, we were able to implement a strong plan that added several healthcare benefits to our already existing resources. We provided a nurse hotline to answer questions, onsite vaccination hubs, created a Leader Support Team to help assist employees, and provided information on chronic conditions and disease management.

The majority of our additions are still in place at Delta and we are constantly evaluating employee feedback, FAQs, and outside resources to keep employees informed.

Q: What makes your well-being program stand out? Relatedly, what statistic best captures the success of your program's effectiveness in the past 12 months?

A: In 2020, more than 1,000 people received professional mental health support each week through our suite of mental health resources. We provide several avenues for support, including virtual or onsite mental health coaching to offer in-the-moment support, access to 7 free counseling sessions per issue per year through Resources for Living, our Employee Assistance Program, and access to the Ginger mental healthcare app to connect with a mental health professional through video chat or text.

We adjusted our incentive reward plan to allow virtual participation to count for incentivized activity, allowing employees to earn rewards for completion. Many of our vendors expanded their offerings to support employees virtually with online access to fitness classes, mental health coaching, and resources.

“We’re proud to offer exemplary health and wellbeing programs to support our people. We’re committed to understanding what our employees and their families value most. Our recent improvements—like tripling our investment in mental health—are aimed at ensuring we’re meeting the evolving needs of our employees and their families.” – Kelley Elliott, Vice President, Total Rewards

Q: What strategies has your organization developed to ensure offering diverse and inclusive wellness programming?

A: In the past year, we stood up the Social Wellbeing tower aspart of the overall Delta Wellbeing platform. Social Wellbeing is many things for Delta people. It’s creating a healthy work-life balance, a rich personal life outside of the workplace, a sense of belonging in and outside of work and a connection to the community around us. We want to make all Delta people feel heard, welcomed, and like they belong in the workplace and in the community.

In addition to providing caregiving resources, fertility programs and more, our Social Wellbeing team partners closely with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion division at Delta to create Wellbeing experiences for our employee resource groups.

Q: As people have been avoiding care during the pandemic, how is your organization encouraging employees to get their preventive visits?

A: At Delta, we have three rewards programs that incentivize healthy behavior.

The first program, Delta Health Rewards, gives our healthcare plan participants the opportunity to complete healthy actions in order to receive funds in their HSA accounts. Healthy actions include a physical, preventive cancer screening, and getting the flu vaccine.

Our second program, Delta Wellbeing Rewards, is open to all Delta employees, regardless of their health plan coverage. When employees complete specific Wellbeing actions, such as downloading the Ginger app or tuning in to a Financial Wellbeing video, they earn rewards that can be redeemed for a gift card.

Our third program is Delta Wellbeing International Rewards for our employees outside the U.S. It follows similar guidelines to the domestic wellbeing program, but is customized to the regulations in specific countries, and employees can redeem rewards via payroll.

While these incentives work, we know we must constantly promote and support Delta Wellbeing to meet our people wherever they are in their health and wellbeing journey. We reach our people through town halls and livestream events, articles posted to our internal channels, webinars and COVID-safe events with our Wellbeing team.

To view the rest of our top 10 winners, check out our Healthiest 100 blog posts here! 

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