This article was published on September 16, 2019 on Hartford Business written by Wendy Pierman Mitzel. Photo source is Hartford Business Journal.

1st Place | Category: 1,000 or fewer employees

Diversified Group

Headquarters: Marlborough

Industry: Health insurance and benefits administration

Top Executive: Brooks T. Goodison, President

Diversified Group not only offers its customers a worksite wellness plan, it offers programs to its own employees as well.

Company leaders say creating a healthy workplace translates to happier employees, high retention rates and increased customer service.

According to Alison Searles, Diversified Group’s client service specialist, continuity and accessibility are key to defining the culture of wellness within the health insurance firm. Workers can take exercise classes during lunch breaks and organize their schedules in a way that allows them to attend monthly programs like meditation, wellness coaching and fitness challenges.

“Employees want to be healthy and just a little push from Diversified Group has helped some individuals make huge strides when it comes to health,” she explained. “When employees come back from their spin class, yoga or meditation session, they feel a little more clear-headed, a little more energized and ready to tackle the rest of their day as opposed to hitting that 2 p.m. crash.”

Employees can choose from activities led by educated and trained professionals and held on a regular basis. They include weekly fitness classes such as yoga, spinning and strength; monthly meditation sessions; monthly wellness-focused activities; quarterly wellness challenges; and on-demand health coaching or dietetic counseling.

Diversified Group provides programs regularly so employees make wellness part of their everyday routine, said Searles.

“The goal of our program is to instill the concept that wellness is a lifelong priority,” she added.

Targeting the needs and wants of some 55 employees is another important part of offering the right programs to gain participation. Recently, Diversified Group began instruction in yoga nidra, also referred to as sleep yoga, on the suggestion of the holistic health specialist.

Diversified Group also has a robust incentive campaign that offers small rewards for meeting certain benchmarks and larger ones for commitments spanning the entire year.

“Rewards initially motivate employees to participate in our wellness challenges and activities, but many have recognized that they truly feel better when they participate and this encourages them to keep going,” Searles said. “We have quite a few people who now lead healthy lifestyles simply because they learned how great being healthy feels.”

The program is communicated to employees through a new wellness portal. In addition, a yearly aggregate evaluation, along with satisfaction surveys and one-on-one meetings, allow for adjustments and improvements.

Click here to view the full list of HBJ’s 2019 Healthiest Employers awards.