There is nothing like a little friendly competition to motivate people! That is just what three Warren, Pennsylvania companies did to improve their employees’ health. A few months ago, the Healing America tour came to Warren and we had the opportunity to meet with these companies. Not one of the companies had management staff that were already plant-based; however, they were open to new ideas to improve their employees’ health and wellbeing.
The principle motivators were two key community leaders who had personally experienced the benefits of a plant-based diet and became inspirational messengers. John and Janeen Beard switched to a plant-based lifestyle a little over a year ago. As a result, Janeen was able to reduce her daily medications from thirty down to just one. Since that time, they have been doing a wonderful job of helping others within their community to improve their health. They came up with the idea of having the companies participate in a Corporate 10 Day Jumpstart Challenge where the company with the best biometric improvements would be declared the winner. They also created a stunning trophy to motivate all involved. The competition culminated at John and Janeen’s organic farm on day 11 with a delicious plant-based feast that they had harvested.
The three companies participating in the challenge were Whirley Drink Works, Betts Industries, and Warren General Hospital. When the 10 days were finished and all of the calculations completed, Betts Industries was declared the winner. Libby Abbey, Betts’ Wellness Director, stated, “I was shocked and did not expect the amazing results we had from the employees.” Overall, the participants had a 33 point drop in cholesterol (16% decrease) and a 24 point drop in LDL (19% decrease), all in just 10 days!
Whirley Drink Works had 59 participants, which was around 20% of their entire workforce. Kelly Johnson, Human Resources Representative at Whirley, said she was amazed at how positive the workforce felt about the Jumpstart. Many of the participants were motivated to continue to eating more plants. Andrea Gurdak, Patient Care Coordinator at Warren General Hospital, noted that the hospital was surprised by the number of their employees who were interested in not only doing the Jumpstart, but sticking with the program. Some of the staff physicians who saw the impressive biometric results were intrigued as well.
This groundbreaking challenge would not have occurred without the powerful combination of two inspirational motivators coupled with three companies who were open-minded and willing to try something outside of the “traditional” Corporate Wellness box. If you are looking to make a positive change to the health of your workforce, just remember it only takes a few motivated and open-minded individuals to have an explosive impact.