Burr & Forman’s Wellness Matters program has grown into a valuable resource for employees and their families to improve their health. Wherever and whenever the participant feels the need to change, Burr & Forman provides free, individual health coaching to employees and spouses. Privacy is strictly honored, and Burr receives no information about individuals’ conditions or results. The firm feels that this is one of the most important facets of the program.
Burr & Forman connects with attorneys and employees about wellness year-round. The firm maintains an intranet page dedicated to wellness where employees receive targeted information, compete with each other around “challenges,” and enter their own results. With the help of the firm’s graphic designer, the firm sends out regular e-mails that are beautifully designed, attention-getting, and targeted to a specific facet of healthy living. At least once a year, the firm interviews a participant to spotlight his or her success in a firm-wide publication. Finally, Burr’s Wellness Committee, made up of a cross-section of attorneys and employees with representation from each office, convenes at least once a year to review data and programming to keep Wellness Matters fresh and effective.
Recent Wellness Matters Graphics
Burr & Forman takes a unique approach to health coaching. The Wellness Matters program begins with annual biometric screenings in each office, and participation is rewarded with reduced health plan premiums all year long! The firm provides this confidential service at no cost to employees.
Year after year, at the biometric screenings, firm employees and their spouses have a blood sample taken and their BMI measured by familiar people. They sit down in a private conference room with a member of that team and have their screening results reviewed in person, with the appropriate expert. They celebrate good results with the clinician, and then talk about the results that are not so good and what they can do about it, starting right then and there. The coach helps them decide what issues they need to address. For most people, it’s some combination of physical activity and weight management that is needed, and those two things are focal points of Burr’s wellness program.
The firm’s walking program, Moving Matters, gets sedentary employees “off the couch,” and encourages people who are already exercising to keep it up. Participants record miles walked online and receive popular prizes by being entered in drawings. The prizes further the wellness cause by being health-supporting items, such as fitness game systems, Fitbits, and healthy cookbooks. The program welcomes employees of all levels of fitness and allows them to calculate “miles” from any aerobic physical activity. Everything from marathon running to mowing the lawn or vacuuming the house is honored. Over the years, the firm’s employees have logged thousands of miles, competed with each other and with other offices, and the firm has handed out thousands of dollars in prizes.
Burr & Forman at the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run
The firm’s weight management program, Weight Matters, rewards employees for attaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Weigh-ins are held quarterly in each office and employees can receive individual coaching on the spot from expert clinicians, including RNs, Registered Dieticians and Certified Health Coaches. Participants are rewarded for their results each quarter with cash prizes.
Two health conditions receive special emphasis – diabetes and smoking. Clinicians connect employees and their spouses with health coaches and resources to achieve their goals. Burr’s prescription drug plan administrator makes case management calls to diabetic employees who are not compliant with their medication regimen. Those who want to stop smoking receive free assistance with prescriptions and coaching.
Burr & Forman in red to support the American Heart Association
From the beginning, Burr & Forman knew that having a wellness program was the right thing to do, but also wanted to get tangible results. In fact, its Wellness Mission Statement clearly emphasizes this objective – “a happier and more productive workforce and reduced medical costs in the future.” One of the most important markers the firm measures is participation in the program, particularly in biometric screenings. Participation rates are holding firm from year to year, always in the 320-employee range.
The firm also looks for trends in aggregate biometric data over time. In particular, the firm is interested in knowing the percentage of participants that have moved into the “low health risk” category, meaning, they have lowered their likelihood for developing the health problems associated with an unhealthy BMI. In 2012, 36% of participants were in the “low risk” column. In the most recent 2015 screening, that number has increased to 41%. The firm also carefully monitors medical and prescription drug claims. Since implementing its wellness program, Burr & Forman’s medical insurance premiums have been at or below the cost of health inflation. As the numbers suggest, through the wellness program, the firm is making a positive impact in employees’ lives.
Burr & Forman has had many weight-loss success stories, and has highlighted individuals who have made healthy lifestyle changes in wellness e-mails. Partners and employees have walked over 450,000 miles in the Moving Matters walking program, and have lost 1000+ pounds in Weight Matters weight management program. Employees are grateful for the range of wellness options, with some employees even discovering health issues brewing that they did not realize they had. This early detection allowed them to take steps to solve these health problems before they got out of hand. The overall improvements in the health and well-being of Burr & Forman employees, and seeing the smiles on their faces, is the most rewarding outcome of the wellness program
Daniel Dietric, Partner, Burr & Forman – Tampa
Burr & Forman runs an award-winning wellness program that truly has something for everyone. In fact, in 2015, the firm was selected from 5,000 applicants and 100 finalists to be ninth in the nation in the Healthiest 100 competition. The Wellness Matters program was compared to all kinds and sizes of employers and found to be one of the top ten programs in the country. Burr & Forman consistently places first or is in the top finalists in the Healthiest Employer competitions put on by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Birmingham Business Journal, the Orlando Business Journal, the South Florida Business Journal, and the Nashville Business Journal.