The Author, Judy Gougeon, is the President of Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

No more doughnuts, please!

“Corporate wellness” and “workplace stress reduction” are hot topics as of late. There’s a push happening to recognize workplace health and wellness and how they can be promoted in the office.

In 2017, Gougeon marked corporate wellness as a priority to help our team work towards better health and well-being. Believing strongly that when our team members come to work happy and healthy they perform more effectively, we developed a Corporate Wellness Program.

I’ll be honest; it has been difficult passing up offerings from visitors to our office. All those colourfully sprinkled fluffy donuts, all those cinnamon streusel muffins, all that office birthday cake. It’s been a struggle, but rewarding. We’re having some fun along the way, too.

Gougeon’s vision is to help not only our clients but our team pursue and ultimately attain their respective goals. We are committed to offering expert risk advice to our clients with this vision in mind. Just like, we are dedicated to this vision with our team. A large part of that vision is to ensure that the leadership team fosters a healthy culture and workplace. We are passionate about supporting our team so they can be the best versions of themselves.

To accomplish this, in the fall of 2016, our leadership team reviewed our benefits program, fitness program, and our staff take-up on our offerings. We discovered that something wasn’t working that well. All staff members weren’t taking full advantage of our fitness benefits. We wondered why that was.

Our goal was to increase our employee engagement in health and wellness. If we increased our team’s use of the fitness benefits by 25% in a year, we would call that a success. More importantly, it would be one way to show our team that we are invested in them and invested in the overall health of our organization.

That was why we decided to hire a consultant to help us, Bite Health Coaching. We met with Kerry Lamarche, Certified Health Coach with Bite Health Coaching, to discuss our vision, current situation, and what we believed the gaps to be in our delivery of the fitness program. What we found was the structure of our fitness program needed to change. It needed to be more accessible. How we enacted our vision needed some work.

Through this process and Kerry’s feedback, we designed our Corporate Wellness Program and launched in 2017. It is a voluntary program that’s offered to each of our team members, with the aim of increasing their wellness and supporting them to perform at their best.

The program consists of:

  • 4 group lunch-and-learn seminars
  • An individual self-assessment completed at the beginning and end of the year
  • An individual goal tracker worksheet and progress tips
  • 4 quarterly one-on-one sessions with our Health Coach
  • Bi-monthly health emails featuring fitness tips, yummy healthy recipes, and motivation words (“You can do it!”)
  • And most importantly, the collective support of the Gougeon team motivating each other to succeed in our personal health and wellness goals

Our team had this to say about the Corporate Wellness Program:

“The corporate wellness program is fantastic! The education, tips and encouragement I have received have made a noticeable impact to my health. It is very impressive that an employer puts this much importance on our health and well-being.”

“I love the program. It made me realize how much protein vs. carbs I was eating and the impact it was having on my system.”

“I have worked with Kerry [Bite Health Coaching] both on my own and through our wellness program here at Gougeon for a few years now. I believe 100% in her and what she teaches. I have seen amazing results from our Nutrition Session and I am enjoying our new Physical Fitness Sessions and Challenges.”

“I like the ‘small bite’ approach, where we can focus on improving 3 things and there’s a plan in place to accomplish those goals. Makes it seem much less daunting. The meal planning has been a life saver for me personally. I had no idea it was so easy to eat healthy and well with so little effort. Staying on track is no longer a chore.”

So here at Gougeon, doughnuts are a thing of the past! Instead, I hear talk around the watercooler (I actually do) about the best protein powder for your smoothie, and how to make pizza crust with cauliflower.

Daily, I’m inspired by my team’s involvement and dedication to the Wellness Program. When I’m feeling stressed, have skipped lunch, and see one of those donuts lurking on the table, there is always another Gougeon team member here encouraging me to stay on track and keep to my health goals.

Who needs doughnuts anyways?

To learn how to join our team, please visit our Careers page

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Kerry Lamarche, Bite Health Coaching [Top Left]; Shawna Partridge, Gougeon’s Business Development & Communications Coordinator [Bottom Right]

Topics: company culture, workplace health, workplace wellness

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