Law Firm AWKO Makes Wellness a Priority
Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz (“AWKO”) prides itself on providing its employees and their family members tools to live a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally. The firm strongly believes that happy, physically healthy employees are key to providing its clients with the superior level of representation to which it is committed.
AWKO’s approach to encouraging physical well-being combines innovative team building challenges with traditional incentives. AWKO provides its employees with the opportunity to participate in “fitness challenges” where they take part in a structured fitness program over a fixed period of time designed to improve baseline metrics. These metrics are selected to encourage employees of any fitness level to participate and are usually measured on relative improvement (e.g., % decrease in weight or increase over baseline in number of sit ups in 60 seconds). They also add a team element by placing employees from different areas of the firm together on a team and offering prizes (PTO, cash awards and sponsored trips) for both overall team performance and individual performance. Along with the fitness challenges, AWKO provides its employees gym memberships and access to personal trainers.
The fitness challenges have had a remarkable impact on the firm culture. We have transformed the traditional water cooler conversation into conversations about fitness and wellbeing. This new culture has led to the formation of an AWKO race team. AWKO reimburses its employees for 50% of the costs associated with any race they enter. Working with a local gym, AWKO has designed training programs to help employees run their first 5k, 10k, half marathon or even a full marathon. Now, in local races, Team AWKO t-shirts are everywhere! And, in the last year, twenty-six staff members completed half marathons! The race team has inspired the creation of a triathlon team with AWKO employees participating in and completing both Half and Full Ironman triathlons!
Along with work in the gym, AWKO encourages healthy lifestyles by offering smoking cessation incentives and healthy eating programs. The firm sponsors healthy eating “cook-offs” where participants show off their culinary skills to create tasty, healthy entrees. Winners are awarded prizes but everyone wins with a good, healthy lunch!
Finally, AWKO believes that happiness is best achieved through a commitment to overall wellbeing – a combination of physical health, emotional health, financial soundness, and the achievement personal goals. AWKO has implemented a “dream program” where employees share their hopes, goals and dreams. AWKO then works with its employees to design plans and provide them with tools to put them on the path to achieving their dreams. We are very excited about this relatively new program and believe that it will take our team to an even higher level of performance!
Currently, wellness engagement is around 70%, but AWKO’s goal is to raise that number to 100% in the coming years.