Written by Guest Blogger, Kelly Bierman, US Well-Being Manager at Schneider Electric
Leading the U.S. Well-being program for Schneider Electric, I often get to hear about the inspiring stories of employees that have made positive changes in their lives and encourage the same for their colleagues, friends and families. Whether focused on reducing stress, addressing chronic conditions, tackling mental health or bringing physical fitness into the workday, we have some truly passionate people that are driving a culture of well-being across the company.
It’s because of these individuals that we get to celebrate our selection as one of the 2018 Healthiest Companies in America by Interactive Health. It’s the 4th year in a row that Schneider Electric has received the honor, along with other leading companies across the country recognized for empowering employees to make significant and sometimes life-saving changes to improve their health.
Last year we were also recognized by the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index at the gold level. These awards are a testament to the priority that Schneider Electric places on creating a culture of well-being every day for our employees and the passion that we all share to lead happy and healthy lives – at work and at home.
Schneider Electric employees are highly-engaged in managing their health. 87% of U.S. employees participate in an annual health evaluation, the majority have completed well-being training and more than 90 Well-being Champions drive healthy activities at each of our locations. And that’s just the beginning. Here are some of the inspiring stories behind the numbers…
The Wellness Health Assessment Saved My Life
“A good work friend talked me into taking the health assessment in October 2015; and afterward, I was notified that my fasting blood sugar was 300+. I went to an Endocrinologist ASAP and found out that I had inherited a genetic defect (from a great uncle and also a great aunt) that caused my pancreas to stop making insulin. This was a recent occurrence (age related) and I had no idea that this had happened to me. Even scarier, had I not found out I would most probably have gone into a diabetic coma or had a stroke before the end of the year.
I am now on insulin (type 1 diabetic), exercise daily, have a healthy diet and (God willing) will be able to see my 2 ½ year old Grandson grow up! Quite honestly, the wellness health assessment saved my life! I will always be grateful to my work friend and to Schneider Electric for providing the health assessment.”
- Ginny Keeney
Geared up! Schneider’s participation in Ride Your Bike to Work
“Every year, Schneider participates in a national event Ride Your Bike to Work – encouraging people to swap out their car keys for helmets to ride their bikes into the office. This year, employees from the West Kingston, RI office continued the tradition. We had experienced and novice bikers, all coming together early in the morning to swap out their typical means of transport to the office – not only good for their health, but also kind to the environment.
Engaging, healthy activities like this are a constant at Schneider Electric offices and I’m proud to be a contributing member to this community.”
- Andrea Michel
Strategic Marketing Program Manager – Secure Power
Getting Moving During the Work Day
“To encourage walks and breaks during the work day, our office has a “Walk to the Box” competition where you can pick up a raffle ticket, walk to a designated point in the parking lot, and enter a weekly raffle to win a gift card. In 2018, the program ran for 25 weeks, and 174 unique participants walked 3,033 laps which equated to 1,820 miles!
It’s a great excuse to take a meeting outside and take a break from your desk. We just started the initiative again this year, and had 36 unique employee participants walking 111 total laps (66.6 miles) in just the first week!”
- Krissy Larsen
Employee Brand Specialist
Great Programs Offered
“A great big thank-you to the company for offering Naturally Slim to employees. Naturally Slim is a free, 10-week online program that teaches you how you can enjoy the foods you love, while reducing your risk of developing serious health conditions, like diabetes or heart disease.
This is by far the best program I have ever done because it is retraining my brain to only eat when I need to and enjoying the foods I really like instead of eating rabbit food, counting calories, carbs, protein, etc., & measuring. It is taking all the hassle out of getting control of my eating behaviors developed over a lifetime.”
- Virginia Haralson
Assistant to Plant Manager, Global Supply Chain
“I am inspired every time my Schneider students take time out of their day to join our 60 minute CORE Conditioning class. They motivate me to keep evolving our fitness class by teaching new strength, flexibility, and martial arts techniques, and striving towards overall better fitness and health.”
- James Palmisciano
Global Learning Solution Manager
Making Healthy Changes
“Results from my 2017 Annual Health Evaluation indicated I had Metabolic Syndrome. My doctor strongly suggested I lose weight or risk a stroke or heart attack soon. I was also pre-diabetic. My weight at the time was 250 lbs.
I started researching weight loss centers for information on what I needed to do to get the weight off as quickly and safely as possible. The consensus was to start eating a low carb diet and supplement your diet with potassium, magnesium, and calcium tablets. Instead of paying an inflated price for the program and supplements, I simply purchased them at a local health food store.
After 6 months I lost 40 pounds. Within a year I lost 60 pounds. I’m currently maintaining 190 lbs. For my age and height, my doctor recommends to not lose any more weight. He also recommended I adjust my retirement savings with an expectation of living to at least 85 years old. 😊
I routinely hike 5 miles in the mountains with my spouse. One year ago, that would not have been possible for several reasons. I feel better than I’ve felt in 25 years, have more energy, and experience a quality of life that I thought wasn’t possible a few years ago.”
- Donald Young
Maintenance Supervisor, Global Supply Chain
A Convenient Health Assessment
“Interactive Health met with employees today and the next few days to complete our health assessment. Creating a cultural of health awareness is our mission for a better tomorrow! I am fortunate to work at Schneider Electric where wellness is a top priority, which is now part of our culture. Having Interactive Health come to the office made it much more convenient for everyone who participated, including their qualified dependents. It certainly promoted energy around the office, and reminded us to care for our well-being. Thank you Schneider Electric!”
- Gus Hernandez
Thankful for a Great Coach
“I have just completed my Diabetes Prevention & Control Course with Anne, one of the coaches with Interactive Health. I want to take a moment to let you know that I had an amazing experience with Anne from our first phone call. She is one special and remarkable educator. She eased my anxiety from our first phone conversation and taught me lifelong diet and exercise tips to help prevent diabetes as I am diagnosed with pre-diabetic. She has a great knowledge of diet, exercise tips to stay on the right path for me. I always looked forward to our phone calls to learn more of what I can do to change my current lifestyles. She gave me the appropriate tools to help me on my way to a better understanding of the prevention and progression of diabetes.”
- Carolyn Murphy
About the Author
Kelly is the U.S. Well-being Manager for Schneider Electric and is based in Nashville, TN. She has a BBA from James Madison University and an MBA from Middle Tennessee State University. Outside of work, Kelly stays active by chasing her 2-year old son, exploring exciting destinations with her husband and fitting in a run, yoga or Pure Barre® class whenever possible.
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