All In on Wellness at Organic Valley


Organic Valley’s wellness commitment is significant, as you would expect from a company whose business is organic, healthy foods. Supporting 800 employees with wellness programming is impressive, and quarterly Wellness at Work challenges from Health Tradition are only part of the story.

The will to stay well

As Amber Werre, the company’s wellness and recognition coordinator, puts it, “We have a wellness culture that’s unique in the sense that we’re fully supported by management.” Many companies struggle to sustain a wellness program but Organic Valley is focused on it.
The company’s wellness initiative began almost 10 years ago with fitness classes and since then, has gone all the way to earning a WELCOA gold level Well Workplace Award—recognition that represents high achievement. It means the organization has comprehensive programs which produce results, and that these programs are a strategic and integral part of the company.

The recognition is well deserved

Wellness is thoroughly integrated. Organic Valley holds weekly onsite health screenings available for any employee who wants to track results, offers acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic services, holds regular fitness classes and has a wellness library stocked with books and DVDs.

Challenges fit right in

Employees seem very interested in nutrition, which made the Wellness at Work “More Matters” fresh produce challenge the employee favorite.

The hydration challenge was also popular. “People appreciated having challenges that weren’t all fitness related,” Werre noted. She appreciates Wellness at Work’s wider approach. “While fitness is very important, you can’t really be well without good nutrition and water. We try to make nutrition a focus every year.”

Werre sometimes runs the challenges by location to make everyone feel involved. She shares online resources, including the trackers, and always adds an extra incentive or two. These might be gift cards for a local restaurant or store or an extra challenge-themed item.

Rewarding what you value

Incentives may even include points awarded through the company’s Employee Growth Incentive program. This umbrella program takes in more than wellness. It also encourages employees to pursue learning opportunities and even involves community service. Points might be rewarded for participating in a blood drive, for instance.

Wellness at Work challenges, while only a small part of a large program, are popular. Werre expected good participation but was surprised by how motivated people were. She also appreciates how easy the challenges are to implement. “Health Tradition really does the work for you. It simplifies my life.”

The award-winning Wellness at Work program is provided free to Health Tradition groups.