Humana received Well-being Top Honors in Washington, D.C., this week as one of the top five companies among all national applicants for the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® award, given by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) to recognize organizations with the best workforce well-being programs in the U.S. In addition, Humana was named a Platinum award winner for the fourth consecutive year, the highest award distinction.

The Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® award program recognizes companies with a well-being strategy shown to improve employee health and productivity and business performance, particularly those with a holistic approach to well-being, encompassing financial, emotional, social, and community well-being. Humana has driven such efforts for several years, embracing a whole-person well-being view focused on improving people’s sense of Purpose, Health, Belonging, and Security.

The special Well-being Top Honors recognition was awarded to Humana for achieving strong results in these broader areas of focus and for connecting employee, family, and community well-being to business performance.

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Humana was named the Healthiest Large Company in the South Florida Business Journal’s Healthiest Employer contest last week in Fort Lauderdale.

The Healthiest Employer awards program recognizes organizations that are committed to creating a healthy workplace. The award utilizes an online assessment to measure wellness programming in six key categories: leadership commitment, which is critical in building a culture of success; having a strong foundation for long-term strength; a strategic plan for both near-term and long-term success; excellent communications, targeted to the workforce; programming that can be tailored to employees’ own interests; and a sound system for reporting and analysis.

The South Florida market takes well-being very seriously. The market started subsidized personal training classes three years ago. For $16 a month, associates have unlimited access to 40 weekly group training sessions and daily yoga, Zumba, spinning, cardio, kickboxing and Pilates classes. Three full-time trainers host monthly challenges like the Biggest Loser Challenge, a Spring Olympics Challenge and Couch to 5K.

The market hosts weekly outdoor meditation classes, daily 15-minute stretch breaks and monthly Lunch and Learns. In addition, over the past year more than 300 associates have participated in CPR training.

Recently, the market added fit stations in each of their buildings – treadmills and stationary bikes retrofit with desks so associates can work and exercise safely at the same time.

Through assessment data, Humana associates were seen to have strong compassion for Purpose, so Humana offered Volunteer Time Off (VTO) starting in 2015. This new benefit helped associates surpass the 2017 volunteerism goal of 28% of associates, with nearly 40% volunteering in 2015. Humana has since reset its volunteerism goal to 50% by 2017.

On a monthly basis South Florida associates volunteer at Feeding South Florida. Over the past year they have sorted over 150,000 pounds of food, which equates to 100,000 meals served.

As a whole, Team Humana participates in a number of community walks including the March of Dimes March for Babies, the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides for Breast Cancer and Relay for Life community walks, the American Diabetes Associations Step Out for Diabetes, the Komen Breast Cancer Walk and many more. On a regular basis, associates also collect food and toiletry items for local shelters.

The South Florida market hosts several health and well-being fairs throughout the year. At these events associates unite to learn more about Humana sponsored well-being programs and ways that they can earn wellness dollars. At each event, community partners are invited to host a table and educate associates.

The news article announcing the award cited Humana’s journey to help people achieve lifelong well-being and the company’s commitment to its Bold Goal. “The focus was to foster a culture to bring that purpose alive inside its own associate community,” the article said.

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WFLA-TV, the NBC news station in Tampa Bay, recently visited the Humana market office in Tampa to do a feature story on Humana’s approach to workplace wellness, and specifically HumanaVitality.

News anchor and senior consumer reporter Stacie Schaible had read the HumanaVitality engagement study, which showed that associates who use our data-driven wellness and rewards program have fewer unscheduled absences, lower overall health claims costs, and fewer visits to the hospital and emergency room.

The story showed “spin bikes and step desks allowing employees to get some cardio while working on their laptops.”

“It feels good to get activity in on a daily basis and if I can get work done at the same time. Win-Win,” said associate Jennifer Bickel.

WFLA cited the three-year study and all the benefits of the program.

“Humana Vitality encourages employees to get fit and stay active,” the story said. “They can earn financial incentives, HSA contributions and additional paid time off. Humana employee Kayla Hennessy says ‘it gets me up and moving while I’m working cause as we all know the new saying is sitting is the new smoking. So it helps me concentrate a little more and get my steps in.’”

Read the story, and watch the video here.

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Humana associates set a goal of taking 10 billion steps for the company’s third annual 100-Day Dash, a friendly competition that motivates individuals to improve their own health and well-being or inspire others to get up and get moving. This year’s 15,000 participants met that goal – and added another billion steps. The 11 billion-step total is 4 billion more than last year.

The number of participants in the 2014 competition, which was held August 8-November 25, also increased 30 percent over last year. Associates, who use pedometers or other wearable devices to track steps, can compete as individuals or form teams to win prizes, such as Vitality Bucks for those enrolled in the HumanaVitality incentive program. Participants find fun ways to boost their step total through challenges to each other, instituting walking meetings, running or walking in charitable events in their communities or even learning a few new dance steps.

Those who have taken part in the annual contest enjoy winning Vitality Bucks and other prizes, but say that the rewards they value most are losing weight and gaining energy and other overall health improvements as well as forming new friendships and building camaraderie among co-workers. Some report significant weight loss, running their first road race or share the ups and downs of their journey to better health through blogs.

The energy and commitment to become healthier doesn’t end with the contest. Many associates report a permanent shift to a healthier lifestyle, and will continue to show support for each other by instituting new fun challenges, such as the Healthy Holiday Hop.

Humana associates took 11 billion steps during the 100-Day Dash, an annual competition that is held to inspire a healthier lifestyle. (Photo by Lisa Huber)
Humana associates took 11 billion steps during the 100-Day Dash, an annual competition that is held to inspire a healthier lifestyle. (Photo by Lisa Huber)
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By Ellen Nason

The physical workspace of Humana’s new Digital Experience Center may be unique for the company, with features more likely to be seen in a Silicon Valley office than one in Louisville, Kentucky, but the work being done in it fits perfectly with Humana’s goal of making it easier for the people living in the communities we serve to achieve their best health.

The purpose of this innovative digital software accelerator is to create and update Humana’s digital products quickly and simply while working collaboratively with the consumers who will be using them.

“It’s an exciting day,” Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard said Thursday at an event to mark the official opening of the Louisville center.

Broussard noted that it is more important than ever for the company to collaborate with its customers given the ever-changing complexities in health care. He pointed out that one of the most important factors in the innovative approach of the Digital Experience Center is the fact that Humana is “wrapping the customer around the product” by getting instant feedback from them. Consumers are brought in weekly to test and review the products being developed or updated, making them a part of the team.

man playing ping pong
Team members take a break from their computer screens to play ping pong at the Humana Digital Experience Center in Louisville. (Photo by Lisa Huber)

“To be successful, we have to be agile,” he said. “Collaboration is part of being agile.”

One element of Humana’s new approach to product development is creating a more collaborative and empowered process for its employees as well as the consumer. The digital product designers, developers and managers work in pairs, side-by-side — sharing two keyboards for a single computer. The teams are working exclusively on digital products and with increased focus because they are limiting the daily disruptions created by the meetings, email and phone calls found in a traditional office setting. The physical setup is also a departure from the past, with workers having the option of using stand-up desks or recharging mentally and physically at the two ping pong tables in the office.

The first product released from the Digital Experience Center is the HumanaVitality mobile application, which enables users to create and measure specific, personal wellness goals (get active, eat better, lose weight or reduce stress). Humana recently announced full integration with Apple’s HealthKit for the HumanaVitality app.

The team at the Digital Experience Center is currently working on another mobile app for Humana members.

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