Improving the health of our employees and their families has been our focus for some time. In 2014 we established a Wellness Committee to take that focus to a higher level. This effort began in March of 2015 with a “Know Your Numbers” biometrics event that was held at several company locations. From this event, we were able to determine the top factors that were negatively impacting our employee-family quality of life.
It turned out that hypertension was one of those negative factors. Armed with this information, the Wellness Committee explored what could be done in the workplace to begin to address this issue.
Annual summer picnics have been highlights for our employees at various sites between June and September. Historically, the fare at these picnics has been traditional – cheese burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, ice cream and the like. The Wellness Committee detected a correlation between that menu and the problem of hypertension among our employees.
Teaming up with Highland Park Market, the “Healthier Picnics” initiative was developed. In East Windsor, Berlin, South Windsor, New Haven, New Milford, Waterbury, Stratford, Winsted, and Hartford, employees were offered an alternative to the traditional and a more healthy perspective on food that can be good, good for you, and fun.
Highland Park’s menu consisted of tossed salad, grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, and grilled salmon. Sides of cucumber tomato salad, black bean salad, Italian-style cole slaw and fruit salad were available as were turkey, ham, and roast beef wraps. Frozen yogurt and healthy drinks rounded out the offerings.
Hundreds of our employees participated in “Healthier Picnics” and were overwhelmingly positive about their experience. Plans are in the works for 2016 to expand the number of “Healthier Picnics” and the menus offered.