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Workplace Wellness Influencers

Dawson Bell

In less than a generation, workplace wellness has gone from an afterthought to a top priority. So much so that many now consider the health and well-being of their employees and their communities integral to a company’s bottom line.
From encouraging healthy lifestyles to promoting engagement in the world outside of work, companies have adopted a range of strategies designed to make lives better.

DAVID ROULS

GENERAL MANAGER, SLALOM CONSULTING

Employees: 5,500

Location: Detroit

“We truly believe in building a culture where our employees love their work and their future. Our consultants work on challenging projects for companies who are influencing Detroit and making it a better city.
At the end of the day, our people make Slalom different. We encourage them to change the world and leave a footprint behind.”

DAWN JONES

SENIOR MANAGER, YAZAKI NORTH AMERICA

Employees: 1,400

Location: Canton

“We’re taking a broader approach in 2019, moving from a focus on basic wellness to physical, emotional, financial, and social well-being.”
Yazaki is outfitting its headquarters with spaces for new moms, yoga classes, and an on-site telemedicine center.
“Some people assume it is difficult to adapt an office space to accommodate things like that. If you want to do it, it is definitely doable.”

ROBERT GRUSCHOW

PRESIDENT, DESHLER; CO-FOUNDER, GS3

Employees: 450

Location: Livonia

“We started thinking about wellness because we’re self-insured and wanted to be proactive about health challenges. We wanted to put people in a preventive mindset. That provides financial benefits for both employees and employer.”

In February, GS3 opened a fresh food market on-site to encourage healthy eating.

“It’s a lifelong learning process. Anything we can do to improve employees’ lives, we need to try to do that.”

SHERANI SLOUP

CORPORATE BENEFITS DIRECTOR, TI AUTOMOTIVE

Employees: 320

Location: Auburn Hills

TI moved into its current headquarters in 2016, where the company has installed an outdoor eating space attached to the cafeteria and a walking path aimed at “promoting movement throughout the day.” It also serves to “encourage mental breaks.”

Initiatives such as on-site biometric screenings, health fairs, fitness classes, an on-site gym, and a monthly lunch, where experts are brought in to talk about wellness goals, are all aimed at enhancing wellness and well-being at TI.

ANDY STORM

PRESIDENT AND CEO, ECKHART

Employees: 427

Location: Warren

“When a person wakes up in the morning, employee or customer, they want to have a good day. That can be a challenge in the manufacturing environment. But we don’t have widgets in a machine. The cultural DNA of the organization has always been to support customers and employees.

We want our facilities to be desirable. Do people smile when they walk in the front door? At the end of the day, our goal is to improve the lives of our employees and customers.”

RAY TELANG

MANAGING PARTNER, PWC DETROIT

Employees: 1,465

Location: Detroit

“Business leaders today have to go beyond just motivating their employees. They must inspire them and invest in them holistically to maximize well-being in and out of the workplace.”

PwC has pioneered a company-led wellness program — “Be well, work well”— that instills a culture of prioritizing health and well-being.

“It’s about everyday behaviors and habits proven to help us become and sustain our best selves.”

RICHARD SHERIDAN

CEO, MENLO INNOVATIONS

Employees: 51

Location: Ann Arbor

Having written books about wellness (“Joy, Inc.” and “Chief Joy Officer”), Sheridan says his goal is “to keep human energy high and stifling bureaucracy low” and “create a joyful culture.” A long-running Gallup survey of workplace engagement typically found that more than two-thirds of workers have little enthusiasm for their jobs.

“Imagine what happens if you flip those statistics.”

LATOYA PALMER

HR DIRECTOR, P3 NORTH AMERICA

Employees: 242

Location: Southfield

“As an employer, we have a vested interest in the health and wellness of our employees… it became obvious that we needed to take a holistic view (of employee wellness) mentally, physically, and financially. It affects the bottom line.”

P3 offers employees financial rewards for exercise and other healthy habits, company-subsidized gym memberships, and on-site recreational opportunities like table tennis and foosball.

MICHELLE DOTSON DUFOUR

DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL BENEFITS, BORGWARNER INC.

Employees: 600

Location: Auburn Hills

Each of BorgWarner’s 66 global locations has a “Great Place to Work Committee” charged with “meeting (employees) as well as their families where they are.” It’s a strategy that has benefits for the company and its employees.

BorgWarner provides comprehensive health screening and monitoring, with a related incentive system that can lower employees’ share of insurance premiums to zero, and on-site clinics and counseling centers.

Dawson Bell is a metro Detroit freelance writer.