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Oct 20, 2014

Wellness 2014: PowerStream

By COS staff
PowerStream is the gold winner in the wellness category for the 2014 Canada's Safest Employers Awards

Wellness has become so integrated into PowerStream’s culture that it is “in our DNA,” according to Daniella Cogliano, organizational improvement co-ordinator.

“Managing the success and well-being of 600 employees in four locations while the company grows and innovates is one of our greatest challenges.”

An energy company in Vaughan, Ont., PowerStream takes a holistic approach to wellness that includes nutrition, fitness and mental health.

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“Research has shown that employees become much more motivated and productive when they know their employer cares about their total quality of life,” says Brian Bentz, president and CEO, PowerStream. “It is one of the key drivers behind our organization’s commitment to provide a comprehensive wellness program that includes physical, nutritional, emotional, financial and social health.”

To meet the specific needs of diverse groups and develop an annual wellness plan, PowerStream collects statistics from the benefits plan such as usage of medications, support services and the employee and family assistance program.

“While names are confidential, such statistics along with surveys help us design the program,” says Cogliano. “For example, those approaching retirement are looking for information about heart disease, cholesterol, diabetes and so on, while the middle generation is looking for relationship counselling, parenting and financial planning.”

Meeting the varied wellness needs of the workforce involves publishing print materials, running announcements on strategically placed TV monitors and bringing in specialists to provide demonstrations. A wellness fair and walking challenge complement the annual safety barbecue, featuring vendors, associations, nutritionists and fitness coaches to allow employees to interact with experts in various fields of interest. And throughout the year, employee wellness ambassadors set examples and help motivate individuals.

“Wellness initiatives such as lunch-n-learns, farmers’ markets and healthy food in our vending machines and cafeteria are just a few examples of how we engage our employees in a healthy lifestyle,” adds Joe Tran, capital asset analyst and wellness committee member.

The PowerStream wellness program is only three years old, so it is too soon to measure the results, said Cogliano.

“Early signs such as a great uptake on some of our initiatives are encouraging, and we have begun benchmarking and measuring.”

She anticipates that within five to seven years, the company will be able to correlate the wellness program with results such as lower absenteeism and disability rates.