Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc. is pleased to announce the agency has been designated at the Gold Level of the “Well Workplace Awards” through the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) for the second year in a row. WELCOA is the national leader in workplace and corporate wellness programs, providing training and resources to help companies keep their workforces healthy and productive.
WELCOA’s Well Workplace Awards recognize those organizations that have built successful, results-oriented wellness programs. The award is based on seven critical benchmarks assessing the progressive development and implementation of an organization’s wellness efforts. For Walsh Duffield, the agency’s on-going data collection, evaluation and ability to engage in unique wellness initiatives were large contributors to achieving this award. Nationally, only 15 companies have been awarded with this distinction, with wellness programs impacting over 20,961 lives.
Walsh Duffield’s wellness program, “WD Wellness Daily!,” began almost 10 years ago and has evolved and matured since then. Today, the agency makes countless resources available to employees and their families along with education to help support wellness goals.
“From the moment you walk through the doors at our organization, you can’t help but to feel the spirit and support of wellness throughout our walls,” said Courtney Moskal, Wellness Coordinator at Walsh Duffield. “For instance, right in our lobby, you’ll see a bike rack with bicycles for employees to use throughout the workday as a healthy and eco-friendly way to decompress.” The bike share program, initiated by agency President Edward “Ted” Walsh, also enables employees to take bikes home for family use.
In addition, the downtown Buffalo office features a walking meeting room and offers employees stand-up workstations that can be self-adjusted throughout the day. Employees can even consult with an occupational therapist who specializes in workplace ergonomics. The practitioner evaluates their work environment and makes practical recommendations for adjustable workstations.
When not walking while working, employees can exercise in the free, on-site gym, which offers a variety of weekly exercise classes including yoga and boot-camp, as well as cardio and resistance equipment, a blood pressure monitor, and a Certified Personal Trainer.
Nutrition is another critical component of Walsh Duffield’s wellness program. The lunchroom vending machine features an “RD-approved Nutrition Key,” with an onsite Registered Dietitian evaluating each product stocked.
The agency has also become a drop-off location for Becker Farms’ Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Seasonal produce is dropped off at the office once a week for 20 weeks. All of the produce is fresh and varies depending on what is ready to be picked at the farm.
“It’s become a great way for our associates to have convenient access to fresh produce at a competitive price,” said Walsh Duffield’s other Wellness Coordinator, Marie Story, of the CSA program. “It’s also introduced some people to a large variety of fruits and vegetables they may have otherwise disregarded.”
Gold Well Workplace Award aside, Walsh Duffield is seeing positive results from its multi-faceted wellness initiatives. “An aggregate report with hard data allows us to measure the impact of the program over the years,” said Moskal. “The information provides insight as to which wellness programs are working and will be most beneficial to our employees. “
One particular area that has been significantly impacted by the wellness program relates to Metabolic Syndrome, which occurs when a collection of symptoms (such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and excess body fat) lead to diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. To date, 90% of participants in Walsh Duffield’s wellness program are within the recommended ranges of the risk factors for Metabolic Syndrome. This is a 5.7% improvement over the baseline year.
Another successful byproduct of Walsh Duffield’s wellness program is related to recruitment. The company has seen an influx of candidates interested in the wellness support provided at work. In fact, in a few cases, the wellness program has become a determining factor in their decision to work at Walsh Duffield.
“Wellness at Walsh Duffield is an exciting, rewarding and fun journey,” said Ted Walsh. “Our organization’s most unique component is our associates; they motivate us every day to innovate and grow our wellness program. And with increased participation, they are gaining a better understanding of their overall health and how simple changes can make all the difference in their well-being.”