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Becoming First Blue Zones Certified Workplace Fuels Adoption of Healthy Behaviors by Two-Thirds of Salo, Numberworks and Oberon Employees

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, October 22, 2012—Moving forward on its 2011 commitment to continually evolve its wellness approach, Salo and its brand partners NumberWorks and Oberon did just that this year—a move that propelled the firm to its third win of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s prestigious ‘Healthiest Employer’ award.

 

In August, Salo upped the wellness ante in its quest for the consummate workplace initiative by signing-on to become the first Blue Zones certified workplace in America. By embracing the holistic principles of Blue Zones—movement, mindful eating and community—Salo has expanded the definition of corporate wellness to include these more elusive elements which Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner says are essential to longevity and wellbeing.

Craig Dexheimer, Salo’s director of administration and operations, said that “We have seen very positive results from all of our wellness initiatives. But Blue Zones really is the missing link in corporate wellness because it incorporates the human element which we know is vital to our individual happiness and job satisfaction. We know from research that happy people are healthier, live longer and better. And we believe that there is a direct link between this vitality and higher performance at work.”

The six-month Salo Blue Zones initiative will be underway until April 2013. Two-thirds of Salo, NumberWorks and Oberon employees are participating in a series of suggested activities, all geared to subtly nudge people towards a healthier lifestyle. The initiative suggests four optimal behaviors: move naturally, have the right outlook, eat wisely, and connect with family and friends. To help participants along, Salo has replaced candy with nuts at its offices and added a number of ‘medicine balls’ to its already significant stash of wellness toys.

At the onset of the Blue Zones program, participants were assessed to determine a baseline for well-being, vitality and happiness. At the culmination of the six-month program, these same assessments will be administered again to determine the degree of change in these areas. Additionally, Salo will be tracking metrics including employee engagement, health care claims, followers on social media sites, attrition, uptick in unsolicited business and employment inquiries, as well as the overall effect on the bottom line. Salo believes as they invest in their employees’ enhanced well-being and engagement, not only will the employees benefit individually, but as a byproduct, the firm will benefit as well.

Salo has an impressive track record of highly innovative corporate wellness initiatives. In fact, creating a healthy workplace took center stage in 2007 when Salo retrofitted its warehouse space to enable its 21st century work style—one in which movement, games and hard work all co-exist harmoniously in the same time and place. Salo went a step further when it volunteered to become the first corporate site to participate in a Mayo Clinic study measuring the effect of increased activity on wellness in an office setting. Treadmill desks were brought in for the 18 study participants. After six months, the average weight loss was 8.8 pounds. Blue Zones is the latest in Salo’s innovative wellness culture, but it certainly won’t be the last.

The Healthiest Employers of the Twin Cities project was established by the Business Journal to recognize companies committed to creating a healthy workplace. To be eligible, companies must have an office in the Twin Cities 13-county metro area with at least five employees. Each is ranked based upon the total number of employees since the scope of a firm’s wellness program tends to be based upon its overall size, rather than just the number of workers in a local office.

Companies completed a survey that included about 75 questions which were grouped into six categories:

• Culture and leadership commitment

• Foundational components

• Strategic planning

• Communication and marketing

• Programming and intervention

• Reporting and analysis

About Salo, Oberon, NumberWorks

Salo/Oberon/NumberWorks are leaders in driving business outcomes by leveraging talent in finance, accounting and human resources; as well as, financial executive search services. The award-winning firms are among the fastest-growing contract staffing companies in the country with offices in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Chicago. For more information, visit salollc.com.