Walk 10,000 steps a day and earn time off work! That’s the new fitness challenge Scotty Wise has issued to his team for 2014. Over the course of the next year, employees can earn one extra paid day off per quarter by completing this challenge.
"Healthy employees are extremely important to me," said Scott Wise, President and CEO of a Pots and Pans Production, owner and operator for Scotty’s Brewhouse restaurants and Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company. "Self confidence is a great by-product of a healthy lifestyle. I think this attitude is necessary in every one of my directors and leaders in this company. And, not only will my people feel better, but I find that they perform better at work too. With the rising costs of health care and the new mandates from Obamacare, I think it is important to focus on the core problem and not the symptoms. If we can educate our team, incentivize and lead them to a healthier life style, everyone wins.”
Wise is an exercise enthusiast who runs 5 miles per day, 6 days per week. He also lifts weights for an hour, 5 days a week, while running 7 restaurants and being a father to 4 kids under the age of 7.
“I find that exercise can help you decompress from a long day and relieve stress,” continued Wise. “I have also found that some of my most creative ideas come while I’m running on the treadmill. I often have to stop and send an email to myself with a new food, drink or promotional idea that springs to life after a few miles get the blood flowing.”
Tracy Morgan, the Director of Human Resources, created this program for 2014 by investigating multiple fitness monitoring bracelets and determining a challenging distance that is attainable but also pushes employees to become healthier.
After the research was complete, the company decided to use the Jawbone UP 24 to track employees’ steps each day. These not only are great for keeping track of progress, but also help to create a competitive atmosphere with participants as they can monitor one another’s progress. Employees can buy these on their own or through the company and have the cost payroll deducted.
“We wanted everyone to have an equal opportunity to participate in this initiative,” continued Wise. “If you don’t have the money to pay for this all at once, we can deduct a small portion from your paycheck over a few paydays to make it a lot more affordable.”
The Jawbone Up 24 syncs with smart phones and records steps, calories burned, miles and even helps monitor your sleeping patterns. Once an employee has established their Jawbone profile, they then join the Scotty’s Group online and are able to see how fellow employees are doing. This feature also allows the Human Resources department to monitor progress and award employees who meet company-established goals.
“It is a pretty cool device,” said Matt Gutierrez. “Not only does it help you stay motivated to exercise by counting your steps, it can even vibrate every 30 minutes to remind you to get up and move around.”
Wise has always encouraged his employees to exercise with creative employee benefits like company paid health club memberships, reimbursement for Pilates, Kickboxing, Spinning, Zumba, Yoga and reimbursements for completing races, like the Indy Mini, Geist Half Marathon, Bloomington Half Marathon, Mudathalon and more. Last year, the company offered a program using the Nike Fuel Band to encourage employees to exercise which proved to be a hit and evolved into the program this year using the Jawbone Up.
In 2013, the company transitioned its paid health insurance provider over to an HSA (Health Savings Account) plan. With the continual increase in health care costs for small business owners, Wise wanted to find a plan that would offer the correct benefits to his employees; but also give more ownership and decision making ability to employees, giving them the ability to decide if medical care is needed or if that cold is just "the sniffles" and they would rather keep that money in their account to have at the end of the year to use for something else.
"I love the ideals behind the HSA plans," said Wise. "We encourage a healthy life style, we incentivize and reward you with more cash in your HSA for participating to make your lifestyle healthier with better choices and exercise and let the employee choose how to spend that money - whether a doctor visit is necessary or saving that money in their account for other future use.”
More than 25 members of the management team chose to participate in this year’s program. Over the course of the next year, they will receive an additional paid day off for each quarter they walk 920,000 steps, the equivalent of 10,000 steps a day.
If you are interested in joining the Scotty's team, you can apply by filling out our entire online application, here, or start out by filling out our quick mobile application here.