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Running for Health–How Some Employers Encourage Employees

April 27, 2008

You may recall a post I did a while back about the company that employs me, Thomas Nelson, Inc., committing themselves to improving the health of its employees by offering incentives to get healthier. One of those incentives was running in a local race–the Country Music Marathon (or half-marathon)–on the company’s dime, plus a $100 gift certificate for finishers.

The Tennessean, one of the local dailies, ran an article on the subject a couple days prior to the race about not only Thomas Nelson but other area companies who were encouraging their employees to run. Included in the article were Healthways who entered 170 people (they seemed to be everywhere at the race), Smyrna’s Stonecrest Medical Center who had a team of 55 plus another 15 family members, and Chick-fil-A.

It seems some other companies get it: do things that bring real value to your employees’ lives, appear to be doing it over and above what’s expected, and the company can benefit from having more productive employees and improving their brand equity from their own ranks. Interestingly, my personal experience that participation in the race wasn’t about receiving the company’s money, but about the symbolic effort on their part, is also alluded to in the article by a woman who said that what she has received in terms of new friends outweighed the company’s investment in her.

One final note. Shock, shock. This article wasn’t in the Business Pages–it was in the Sports Pages. Like I said, the stories about positive, consequential value for humans are rarely on the Business Pages. There, however, you can read all about our lay-offs. Did lay-offs have more business value than investing in the health of employees?

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 28, 2008 8:01 am

    Good question to end your blog, David.

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