Access Development is a unique place to work. We're a diverse group with a wide range of interests, but one common thread that seems to pulse through a large percentage of our team is a fondness for health and punishing workouts. It's not unusual to see groups of Access employees out jogging on the nearby Jordan Parkway or heading to the nearby gym for a Pilates class.
It starts at the top. The example is set by our founder and CEO, Larry Maxfield, who's known to come in around 8am having already ran eight miles or swam a mile in 50-degree open water. Most of us can't match Larry's feats, but you get the idea - we enjoy working and playing hard.
As much as that activeness is part of our culture, our company still benefits from an aggressive health & wellness effort. Organized by HR Director Gina Yoder, the Access Health & Wellness program is in it's third year. It's responsible for constant informal sporting activities, a yearly 5k run, informative brown bag lunches on topics such as healthy cooking and "Couch to 5k," and other creative initiatives.
The results? In the three years since Access instituted a formal Health & Wellness program, occasions of unscheduled absences (calling in sick) have reduced year over year, and group health care spending has held far below the state and national averages. Employees are healthier, happier and more productive.
To further the effort, and to get even more people involved, Gina organized the first-ever Access Health Fair. The half-day event took place this past Wednesday, featuring health screenings by SelectHealth and goods from nine vendors offering handmade crafts, fresh fruits and veggies, organic supplements and more.
Why a health fair? Yoder says she had four reasons:
- It's great a way for employees to learn something about their own health
- To reinforce the fact that Access cares about our employees’ well-being, not just the work they do
- The data gathered helps us focus our wellness-related education throughout the year, which in turn improves individual health and therefore keeps our personal and corporate health care spending under control
- It serves as a casual environment for employees and their families to mingle and get to know each other better
The result? Nearly a hundred employees learned how easy it is to be healthy, and nearly half of our employees received free screenings that revealed their glucose levels, body fat percentages, blood pressure and cholesterol.
"I'm of the opinion that in the case of wellness, more information is better, and the statistics prove that out," says Yoder. "Employees are the most valuable asset to our company, and healthy employees tend to be happier and more productive. Everybody has some sort of health risk; sometimes, all people need to improve their own health is a little motivation and information."
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