Healthiness makes workers happy

By Richard Asinof
Contributing Writer
The health-and-wellness program at Gilbane Inc. – Gilbane Cares – aims to inspire and motivate employees to take responsibility for their own safety and health. More

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Healthiness makes workers happy

MAKING THE EFFORT: Gilbane employees start their workday at the company’s Providence headquarters with a stretching session.
By Richard Asinof
Contributing Writer
Posted 8/13/12

The health-and-wellness program at Gilbane Inc. – Gilbane Cares – aims to inspire and motivate employees to take responsibility for their own safety and health.

The messaging fits very well for Gilbane, one of the largest privately held, family-owned real estate development and construction firms in the industry.

As part of the goal of improving employees’ well-being, Gilbane has conducted extensive analysis of its employees’ health, finding that 49 percent are at risk for high-blood pressure, 56 percent for high body fat, and 60 percent are at risk for elevated levels of LDL cholesterol.

Gilbane found that on average, employees who have a risk of cardiovascular disease cost the company $4,485 more than its healthy employees. The goal of the wellness program – in addition to improving morale with healthier, happier workers – is to move high-risk employees to the optimal level and save the company about $1 million annually in health care costs.

Gilbane has launched a program called Know Your Numbers, focusing on employees’ blood pressure, cholesterol rates and body-mass index. The firm also recently completed a walking challenge, providing pedometers to participants, with the goal of 10,000 steps a day.

The company is self-insured, with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island as an administrator. Taking its commitment to employee health seriously, Gilbane hired Lisa Holland to serve as the full-time coordinator of the wellness program. She said she has executive support for the program, 100 percent. •

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