“Healthier employees are happier employees,” said Dina Pescione, a benefits manager at Amica Mutual Insurance Co. And that happiness factor, she says, has a direct correlation with the positive manner in which customer service is delivered, a key focus of what Amica sees as its competitive edge in insurance.
Wellness has been inculcated as “part of the culture at Amica,” Pescione said at an Aug. 9 awards luncheon celebrating 28 businesses, including Amica, recognized as Providence Business News’ healthiest employers in Rhode Island for 2012.
Pescione shared her insights during a panel discussion about what made the winners’ workplace-wellness programs successful. She was joined by Susan Booth, a nurse from Hasbro Inc. and a member of the company’s wellness team, Domenic Delmonico, senior vice president of managed care at Care New England, and Jennifer McKenna, the benefits administrator at Fellowship Health Resources.
Anne Marie Ludovici-Connolly, director of health, wellness and productivity at Tufts Health Plan – the presenting sponsor of the Healthiest Employers awards – also offered her advice.
Delmonico spoke about the importance of leadership and commitment from senior management, citing the example of Dennis Keefe, the president and CEO of the hospital system, who within weeks of assuming his new role, shared his own story with employees of managing his chronic condition of Type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise.
Delmonico himself walks the walk, a regular participant in a weekly yoga session. Care New England had the highest score of any company, 77 out of 100, by an independent analysis, but Delmonico said that building participation was still something that needed work.
Delmonico also freely admitted to some mistakes, learning from trial and error.
“We handed out a party pack from Showcase Cinemas as a reward, only to discover that it included popcorn and soda,” he said, with a laugh. Care New England now uses just movie tickets as an incentive, which has proven to be popular. Delmonico also described the push back from employees when the hospital system decided to eliminate fried foods on Fridays.