A Toast to Business in 2013: Health, happiness and prosperity

Here’s to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2013! Companies have a key role to play in making that a reality. Here are a few ways that business is making the effort:

Be Healthy

The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) created a national workplace award to encourage businesses to instill healthy lifestyle practices. Norway Savings Bank of Maine won their top award in 2011 and has made wellness a part of its corporate culture. Not only does their program enhance overall employee health but added benefits are better managing health care costs, health insurance premiums and individual health savings accounts. Since 2010 the Bank has had a one-on-one, behavior based wellness program where employees meet with a dedicated health coach throughout the year to complete a health risk assessment, set and track personal health and wellness goals. Norway Savings Bank also has a Safety and Wellness Committee to work on projects. So far overall participation in the wellness program is at 98 percent, with some staff evolving from couch potato to tri-athlete.

Happy

For every five years worked, VistaPrint, the online printing company, rewards its employees with a VistaBreak – a one month sabbatical to spend as they wish, in addition to their regular vacation. That’s a benefit that employees love.

But being happy at work is more than perks, it’s also employee engagement, opportunities to grow and the ability to fulfill a passion. Do you ever watch the TV program “Undercover Boss?” Sure it’s schmaltzy, but it holds a core of truth- the boss at top Fortune brands through a corner variety store can introduce happiness in the workplace if they stand in their staff’s shoes, listen to them and then work together to find gratification on the job.

Prosperous

This is the trickiest, of course. Part of seeding prosperity is paying a fair wage for honest work. This means equal pay regardless of gender, as salaries for women in the U.S. continue to lag behind men in the same jobs.

Another area where business can encourage prosperity is through community philanthropy, funding a cause or supporting an issue that lifts the quality of life for others. Jordan’s Furniture is well known for its focus on supporting children in foster homes or needing adoption. Their corporate philanthropy has found permanent adoptive homes for 220 children in foster care and the company recruited another 800 new foster homes through their efforts, helping to put the next generation on track for future prosperity.

A toast to health, happiness and prosperity to all in the year ahead.

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christengraham

About christengraham

President of Giving Strong, Inc. Christen advises businesses, foundations and families for how to make a greater social impact.