Get Well, Be Well, Stay Well
Established over 90 years ago, and currently the home of nearly 400 attorneys, Gunster has been ahead of the curve in making health and wellness a top priority.
Gunster has had a wellness program in place since 2007 with a mission to promote wellness for the benefit of the entire Gunster team through programs and incentives. In accordance with its “Get well, be well, stay well” motto, the Gunster Wellness Committee strives to keep Gunster employees healthy and productive, and is constantly promoting wellness activities through programs and educational courses designed to keep employees involved and motivated. While attorney participation in the wellness program and activities has been a challenge over the years, Gunster has looked for creative ways to create interest. The Wellness Committee was recently expanded to include subcommittee members at each Gunster location to act as cheerleaders for the program, a move that has been a resounding success.
OPTIONS FOR ALL
It is often easy to forget that a “one size fits all” approach does not always work, and Gunster strives to offer a wide range of programs so all employees can participate in ways that are meaningful to their individual health and wellness goals. The goal is to increase wellness awareness and participation by offering a wider variety of programs and greater exposure to wellness education and news. In addition to a traditional wellness program, the Firm provides many opportunities for employees to participate in wellness activities including health fairs and health screenings.
Tallahassee attorney, Larry Williams at a Gunster Health Fair
The firm is also seeing a greater awareness in healthy eating and has experienced an increase in participation in activities such as charity walks, 5K’s and walking challenges. A Weight Watchers Group in the West Palm Beach office lost a combined total of 225 pounds.
In 2015, Gunster greatly enhanced its wellness program by teaming with a third party administrator. Each employee was offered a free Fitbit so they could participate in the Firm’s walking program to earn wellness points, and for those particularly active in the program, paid time off. The Fitbits are very popular and work well with the “competitive spirit” of the attorneys who have had great fun challenging each other. Over the course of 2015, 213 participating employees walked a total of 388,191,173 steps.
As a result of these creative efforts, there are opportunities for everyone to participate in Gunster’s programs. In return for their participation, employees receive a payroll credit ranging from $300 – $500 per year. In 2015, participation in the firms wellness activities increased to 76%.
REWARDS OF HEALTH & WELLNESS
The health and well-being of employees is extremely important to the firm and having a comprehensive wellness program in place is a win-win for both the firm and the employees. Healthier employees lead to better attendance and increased productivity, lower healthcare costs for the firm, and ultimately a healthier bottom-line. In addition, the wellness programs, challenges and incentives have increased morale and created a healthier office culture.
Gunster’s health and wellness initiatives have even garnered a number of awards, including:
- Fit-Friendly Worksite (GOLD), American Heart Association, 2012-15
- Healthiest Employers, First Coast Worksite Wellness Council, 2012-14
- Healthiest Employers, Orlando Business Journal, 2013-14
- Healthiest Employers, South Florida Business Journal, 2012-15
- Healthiest Employers, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2012-14
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Having someone at the top model the importance of healthy lifestyle choices helps promote wellness through the ranks. In addition to leading the firm, Gunster’s Managing Shareholder Bill Perry sets a healthy example for the firm’s many wellness initiatives. Every year, the firm participates in the annual Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run events throughout South Florida. Not only does Bill Perry run every year, but in 2016 he placed 3rd in the Fort Lauderdale CEOs category, and in 2015 he won as 1st-place male in the West Palm Beach CEOs category.