Reinvesting in wellness

This month, SAIF policyholders are getting a special delivery in the mail.

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Our board of directors declared two dividends for our customers this year: a $120 million primary dividend to be paid to all SAIF policyholders, and an additional $40 million safety performance dividend to be paid based on each policyholder’s safety results.

Over the years, we have heard from many policyholders on how they use the dividend—including investing that money back into employee safety and wellness.

One of our policyholders, Cherriots, used its dividend from several years ago to fund a health and wellness program for their employees. Cherriots is the Salem area’s mass transit operator. Its wellness committee, led by their safety and loss control specialist, Michiel Majors, shared how the program was a huge success. Employees had begun to lose weight and embrace wellness at work. 55 percent of employees—from transit operators to the CEO—participated in the program.

We checked back in with Michiel to see how the organization has been doing. The results are staggering: every participant had lost at least 10 pounds, many lost more than 50, and several lost more than 100 pounds. “This has made a tremendous impact in our staff’s health and overall wellness,” says Michiel. “And you can really see the cultural shift to a healthier workforce.”

Our board of directors declared a dividend last year, which Cherriots again invested into its employees’ health and wellness. It used the dividend to expand its program and upgrade the Fitbit trackers so employees could track sleep and utilize breathing exercises and walking reminders.

Cherriots also began providing fresh local fruit in its break rooms which, according to Michiel, “not only makes it easier for staff to make a healthier choice for a snack, but also provides an option to improve proper hydration.”

So, what will they be doing with this year’s dividend? Michiel says they are still deciding but have lofty goals for the wellness program. This includes possibly adding dependent spouses to the wellness incentive, creating an employee memorial garden, and even establishing an onsite wellness center where employees could take fitness classes, attend nutritional seminars, host health clinics, and offer bicycle repair classes.  Michiel adds, “we might even try for a pingpong table too.”

We are proud of the work Michiel and his committee have accomplished, and hope you take some inspiration from their achievement. As Michiel commented, “I would encourage all policyholders to take advantage of the dividend and to reinvest it back into their safety and health programs; I’m sure they could see the same results we have.”