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2013 Healthiest Employers: Endress+Hauser Inc.

Tom Harton
August 15, 2013
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winner OR finalist 5,000+ EMPLOYEES

logo-endress-258.gifFriendly competition with coworkers can be a big motivator when it comes to workplace wellness. When the coworker is your boss, and an iron man triathlete at that, competing—and winning—is that much sweeter.

At Endress+Hauser, a Greenwood-based supplier of industrial measurement and automation equipment, a favorite competition is the Endress 500. In the May race, teams of five employees commit to walking or running 500 miles in the month. The team that goes the distance first is the winner.

The winning team last year finished its required miles in an astounding 10 days. It was all in the name of fitness, but dig a little deeper and you learn that the winning team was motivated by the prospect of beating a boss who runs about 20 miles a day—sometimes before the work day starts—and competes in triathlon and iron man competitions.

“They had to beat a boss who runs marathons for breakfast,” said Brandyn Ferguson, Endress+Hauser’s vice president of human resources.

As far as Ferguson is concerned, he’s happy with anything that motivates the company’s employees to get more exercise and lead a healthier lifestyle.

The company started its wellness program about a dozen years ago. It has since morphed from a bare-bones system in which employees won “wellness bucks” for engaging in healthy activities into a holistic program that offers not just physical fitness but free financial planning and developmental coaching to advance careers.

As part of that program, appropriately named Healthy Measures, the company also gives employees the opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with nurses and to meet with them monthly, quarterly or semiannually at a wellness clinic that opened on-site in January 2012. The full-time nurse practitioner and wellness coordinator who staff the clinic walk the halls on a regular basis to soak up information about the pressures that weigh on Endress+Hauser employees both at home and at work, said Jenny Boushehry, a human resources specialist at the company.

“They get to know us and our culture,” Boushehry said, and they customize the program based on that knowledge and the age and health status of employees.

The changes to Endress+Hauser’s program increased participation from 50 percent to 95 percent and uncovered diagnoses that have led more employees to engage with primary care physicians for treatment.

Though the program has expanded in scope from its early years, the incentives are still a cornerstone. Employees that meet or exceed biometric standards and participate in wellness campaigns earn premium reductions and money to deposit in Health Savings Accounts. Employees are paid $100 to get a physical, and spouses get $50. A family can earn up to $1,000 a year for an HSA.

An analysis of the Endress+Hauser program from 2012 showed a significant decrease in chronic condition compliance gaps and a reduction in tobacco use and body mass index.

The enthusiasm level for the program is high enough lately that it’s not unusual to see Endress+Hauser employees sprinting in the parking lot, jumping rope or doing circuit training.

Soon they’ll have a state-of-the-art on-site gym to use, part of a $16 million facility that will also include a cafeteria, auditorium and product demonstration area. The building is adjacent to the company’s front door, so that visitors and employees can’t miss it. Management hopes that will help keep fitness top of mind for Endress+Hauser employees.•

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  • Impressed but not surprised...
    I'm very pleased to see the progress that Draper employees have made toward achieving such a high level of wellness. When I retired from Draper in 2008, the program was in it's infancy, but there was a lot of enthusiasm and optimism. I am very proud of the employees and management for embracing the many challenges they faced, but it's not a big surprise to me that they achieved such great success. Draper is an exceptional employer with a superior group of employees. Congratulations to them all for a tremendous accomplishment.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

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  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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