At Health Links we like to give healthy businesses the recognition that they deserve. Sterling-Rice Group has built health and safety into the very foundation of their company. We wanted to know how they continue to bring wellness to work year after year.
Health Links (HL): Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to the Sterling-Rice Group?
Sterling-Rice Group (SRG): The vision of our organization is “living well.” We strive to help brands that make people’s lives happier and healthier. One of the advantages of being a brand-growth firm is that we get to work with an impressive array of clients and help them grow their brands. We’ve been at the beginning of the natural and organic movement with our clients, and much of that attitude of living well translates to a healthier, and more aware, workplace, which coincides with our goal to be the best place for people to work. From the work we do for clients to the way we engage as an organization, we want to have a positive impact on the world and our community. This starts with our people, and wellness is a piece of this puzzle.
HL: What makes the SRG worksite wellness program successful?
SRG: The success of our program comes from everyone being engaged and passionate about being healthy and living well. It all started from the very foundation of SRG. SRG was built on eight core beliefs that instill social value. In fact, social value is the single most important thing for the leadership team and employees.
Since social value is one of our core beliefs, we try to help out in the community as much as possible. Last year, we partnered with MANA, a nonprofit organization that provides ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to children in Africa suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Our employees took part in a one million “calorie exchange,” which donated packets of lifesaving RUTF. We arranged employee outings like morning hikes and walks along the Boulder Creek path and encouraged them to take the stairs instead of the elevator and reach for an apple instead of a bag of potato chips. We reached our one-million-calorie goal and sent 5,700 packets of RUTF to children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Africa, which was enough to save 53 children.
Through the years, SRG has thought about how we can take our core beliefs and turn them into an organizational culture. Each year, we conduct an employee satisfaction survey where we ask our employees how are we living our beliefs and how proud are they to work at SRG. Through the years, we have continued to maintain a familial culture that connects people internally. We work hard to create a place where employees want to be around one another and participate in all of the organized activities.
We instill and support the importance of health and wellness for employees by offering a holistic wellness program called SRGThrive. Through SRGThrive, we help our employees achieve their health and wellness goals by evaluating their needs and offering several different events that align with their goals. SRGThrive hosts events such as onsite yoga classes, annual biometric screenings for employees to track cholesterol and BMI levels, weekly massages, mindfulness and stress-reduction sessions, financial education seminars, company-sponsored athletic events, social events organized by employees, and FitBit raffles so employees can track their calories, hours of sleep, and distance traveled.
HL: What advice would you give to a business that is considering starting their own workplace wellness program?
SRG: Before anything else, you want to assess the needs and interests of your employees. Step back and think about what you’re trying to achieve. What is the vision or the mission for the wellness program and how does it align with the higher vision or mission of the business? Always use your company values as a lens to create your program—this is really important.
It also helps to take a holistic and comprehensive approach to engage all employees. Not all challenges or events work for all employees. Be creative and ask your employees what they want. Encourage the leadership team to join in and get involved as well.