PepsiCo Satisfies its Thirst for Wellness in Workplace

by Rob Keys  on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 8:34 am  

Practically every company champions the idea of happy, healthy employees.

PepsiCo — its Rogers office, in particular — is expressing that priority through actions, including ongoing participation in the American Heart Association’s “Fit-Friendly Worksite” program. From installing an oatmeal bar and in-office walking route to negotiating health club discounts and offering onsite fitness classes, PepsiCo is promoting workplace wellness.

The benefits of such an approach are equally wide-ranging. According to a 2009 policy statement in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, wellness programs help increase worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, lower turnover rates and reduce health care costs.

Specifically, AHA research has shown that companies can save between $3 and $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a worksite wellness program.

Brad Hoener, vice president of sales for The Quaker Oats Co. on PepsiCo’s Walmart team, said the company shares the AHA’s belief in the benefits of workplace wellness. PepsiCo’s HealthRoads program takes employees through a lifestyle screening process, and rewards those who complete the program with discounts on their contributions to health insurance premiums.

“That’s a tangible way to help your employees,” Hoener said. “I don’t know what the statistics are, but clearly PepsiCo wouldn’t be doing it if there weren’t a financial benefit, because in theory you’re encouraging people to improve certain parts of their lifestyle or be healthier.

“That’s going to save health care costs, no question.”


Healthy Partnership

The AHA is one of a handful of charities with which PepsiCo chooses to partner because they are consistent with what the global food and beverage company does from a corporate perspective and are consistent with its values. PepsiCo’s Rogers office is completing its second year as a “Gold Level” member of the Fit-Friendly program, and Hoener is working on ways in which it will participate in 2013.

“This is not a program that’s going away anytime soon,” he said.

To achieve “Gold” status, participating entities must implement programs and activities to encourage physical activity, nutrition enhancements and health risk assessments, among other things. To reach “Platinum” status, participants must measure the outcome of their efforts and show a 10 percent annual improvement.



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