For the second consecutive year, Kitchell was ranked the #2 Healthiest Employer in the Phoenix Business Journal‘s annual rankings in the midsize category. Below is the article about Kitchell’s program, originally featured in the Business Journal.
What it does: Kitchell is a holding entity of several companies that are part of Kitchell’s core commercial building business. Services provided within these businesses include general contracting, construction management, real estate development, program management, engineering and architecture and facilities management.
Local leader: Jim Swanson, president and CEO
Who leads health and wellness initiatives: Kitchell human resources team in collaboration with a cross-company wellness committee.
Year company was founded: 1950
Number of employees: 786
Why did your company decide to start a health and wellness program? Our health and wellness program began as an effort to take care of our employee owners. Believe it or not, our wellness program’s humble beginnings were a walking club that spanned all our offices and locations, tracking the number of steps achieved in an “Around the World with Kitchell” feature, supplemented by fruit baskets at job sites. Today it has evolved into a sophisticated, proactive effort that encourages our people to make healthy choices, be active and get preventive care by incentivizing them through cash rewards.
Why is health and wellness important to your company and how do you encourage participation? Health and wellness is important to Kitchell because it ensures the overall well-being of our employees. As a self-insured (and employee-owned) company, it is in our interest to keep our people happy, healthy and productive, and being proactive with wellness is a sure way to maintain a healthy workforce. We encourage participation by providing on-site health screenings, in-person and virtual health events, webinars, individual and group challenges.
What has been your company’s most successful program, and explain briefly what it involves? Kitchell’s health and wellness program provides a generous HSA contribution, which motivates our employee-owners to stay well. We learned a long time ago that money is a big motivator, and we offer up to $2,000 wellness dollars to our insured employees. This is more than enough to cover the employee’s portion of the annual premium for a single insured, so they have a net benefit in health savings dollars. Those who are not covered by Kitchell’s insurance are also encouraged to participate in our wellness plan and can earn swag — not to mention kudos from their colleagues — for their involvement. In 2022 we had 253 employees who maximized all their wellness dollars compared to 214 the prior year, representing a 16% year-over-year improvement. Approximately 67% of our employee owners participated in some wellness activity in 2022, which is an enormous success considering the transient nature of our workforce—many of our people are remote and travel to various job sites throughout the week.
What’s your top tip for other employers as to how they can support their employees in eating healthier and leading a healthier lifestyle? Our wellness program keeps us competitive, and the ROI speaks for itself. Our employees are healthier, our claims are lower and the cost of our self-insured plan is manageable. The wellness platform allows us to gain insight into how our employees behave and what health and wellness initiatives employees like most.
How has your health and wellness program impacted your company’s productivity overall? Productivity as a direct result of our wellness program is difficult to measure, but our employees are generally in good health and our claims continue to trend downward. The wellness program has stimulated the overall well-being of our employees, which ultimately feeds into their performance, retention and our ability to attract talent.