Prudential has been around for more than 140 years. The company, headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, has approximately 20,000 employees in the U.S. and 40,000 worldwide.
With such an expansive workforce, coming up with a corporate health and wellness strategy can seem daunting. But for Pamela Faccone, director of health and wellness at Prudential, who presented “The Evolution of Wellness at Prudential” at the conference, says it can be broken down into a simple adage.
“Making the healthy choice the easy choice is the old adage,” Faccone says.
Her presentation stated that a comprehensive corporate health strategy focuses on three different aspects of health: personal, organizational and community.
Personal health is focused on individual employees, while organizational focuses on the services that support business groups and overall organizational health. Community focuses on the events that improve the health of the area where Prudential employees live and work.
“We look at everything holistically,” Faccone says. “Obviously, we want our employees to be healthy, so that is the personal, individual piece. But you also need your departments to be healthy, and that is looking at things like if they have ergonomic furniture and organizational pieces like stress management policies in place. Are they allowed to have flexible work arrangements? What is the camaraderie like? Is there support from top management to say that yes, you can go to the gym and workout at lunch? Do they have a note that says they support that? When they verbally say it in a meeting or put it in writing, you’ll have a lot more people going.”
Prudential also subsidizes healthy food choices in its cafeterias and has fitness centers in all of its large buildings at the headquarters.
“We don’t have one fitness center; we have four — one in each building — because people are not going to walk the two blocks,” Faccone says. “They need it to be convenient and close.”
Faccone says Prudential also understands it can make an impact in the community, “because our employees not only work there, but also many of them live or commute there.”
One way Prudential has made a difference in the community happened over the course of seven years, as Faccone helped develop and design a new walking trail for the city of Newark. People can download an app to their phone, walk along the trail and learn about the history of Newark. Prudential also invested in aero farming in old warehouses in Newark.
In addition to the three areas of focus that the corporate wellness strategy identified, Faccone also listed the “5 Dimensions of Health” for each of those three sections in her presentation.
“When most people think about physical health, they think of nutrition and exercise,” Faccone says. “Those are usually the top two, but health is so much more than that. I can be fit, healthy and well, but if my finances are stressing me because the money in isn’t meeting the money out, I’m still going to have anxiety, stress and high blood pressure — no matter how much I work out. It’s all connected. Each one is as important as the next.”
Faccone says Prudential also understands that everybody doesn’t want to exercise at work, so the company has something for everybody. Some examples of the many services and programs Prudential offers its employees includes onsite clinics, health coaching, personal budget coaching, behavioral health counseling, child and adult care resources, serenity rooms, biennial health summits and wellness champion teams.
“We try to reach people in the ways they want to be reached,” she says.
So, what are the tangible results of all of these efforts?
“It does make a difference, and where we see it is in our employee opinion surveys,” Faccone says. “We see it in loyalty and in the job satisfaction rankings. The people who make use of those programs … correlates with job satisfaction because they feel like they are valued.”