Why we’re proud to be one of Oregon’s healthiest employers

Promoting wellness at work isn’t just a nice thing to do. Healthy employees are more productive and create a positive work environment for all. Plus, encouraging employee wellness also helps organizations save money on health insurance.

Sounds simple, right?

Well, as the Portland Business Journal shared when naming the Port of Portland Oregon’s Healthiest Employer (500-1,499 employees), “It’s no easy task to get 775 employees excited and engaged in company wellness programs, especially when many of them work off-site.”

We’re proud we’re #1 among organizations of our size. Getting this honor becomes a little easier when you have Courtney Rust running the program and ensuring wellness is part of our DNA.

Here are seven ways she helps build a physically, emotionally and even fiscally healthy culture at the Port.

1. Offer variety
We offer our team a wide range of health and wellness activities such as fitness classes, walking challenges, group events like fun runs and meditation and yoga workshops. We sprinkle into that mix cooking and nutrition demonstrations, financial counseling and training on stress management.



2. Create access for everyone
We give people ways to engage in a way that meets their goals and work commitments. That means offering group participation like walking competitions, individual events such as mindfulness class, or webinars ranging from cooking classes to health care basics. We also have gym facilities for all employees – at our headquarters as well as at off-site facilities.


3. Incentivize everything
To encourage participation, we incentivize. Through participation, our team earns discounts on their health care premiums or additional Health Savings Account contributions. Some activities also have opportunities for awards or prizes like gift cards.



4. Empower a wellness culture
Health and wellness efforts won’t work if you don’t have buy-in from the highest level. We work with managers across the Port to encourage participation in wellness events during work time. Managers today set up walking meetings, while also giving employees the flexibility to play lunchtime pick-up soccer games or participate in wellness discussions during the workday.


5. Welcome ideas
We welcome new ideas from employees for wellness activities. That’s led to efforts like better equipping our bike storage room, organized team runs, and even offering free snow park passes.




6. Measure success
Monitoring activity participation, and offering free on-site biometric screening, allows our health care providers to anonymously report the overall health of our team. This helps us measure success and fine-tune our wellness program for the next year.



7. Keep improving
What’s next on the horizon for Courtney and our wellness efforts? We just launched Sprout, a new mobile-friendly app for employees to track their health progress in real time. And we’re incorporating more mindfulness tools, nutrition tracking, and aromatherapy classes to keep improving our health offerings.