Finish Line Puts Employee Well-being First

officeThe following story details how Finish Line went through the process of implementing the Virgin Pulse well-being program and discusses the exciting results it’s seen since. Read about other’s successes with Virgin Pulse, here.

finish-line-logoLongtime leading athletic footwear and apparel retailer, Finish Line, decided it was time to focus on employee health and well-being. It knew this investment would not only help keep its workforce productive on the job, but would help employees reach their personal health goals too.

Even at a company known for its commitment to activity, it can still be difficult for employees to maintain healthy habits. In 2011, when employees learned Finish Line was adding Virgin Pulse to its suite of well-being tools, they were excited and ready to engage with it.

Knowing well-being goes beyond physical health alone, Finish Line launched the Virgin Pulse program to help employees manage the range of factors impacting their well-being. The program offers a tailored experience, providing employees with their own user-friendly online portal, incentives, wearable fitness devices, and ongoing challenges.

To spread the word, Finish Line hosted a kick-off event that added to employees’ excitement, driving their engagement in Virgin Pulse by allowing them to enroll and learn about the program on-site. During its launch, Finish Line relied on Virgin Pulse’s activation campaign resources and regular engagement communications to encourage employees to enroll and stay involved in the program. Today, Finish Line still leverages those communications to get and keep new and existing employees engaged.

“The communications from Virgin Pulse keeps well-being top of mind by offering challenges, sending out reminders, and launching the program individually when a new employee comes on board,” said Kim Kurtz, Finish Line’s Benefits Manager. “That’s taken a lot of the burden off of us, administratively.”

icon-callouts-2 (2)Today, Finish Line and its employees embrace healthy, active lifestyles. For example, Finish Line built an on-site certified CrossFit gym staffed by a full-time CrossFit trainer, and holds daily exercise classes for all employees. For runners and walkers, the company even installed an outdoor track wrapping around the building.

“Physical activity is a big part of our brand,” says Kurtz, explaining that the activity tracking and incentives components of Virgin Pulse have been a key element of the program’s success.

“The fact that employees could get points for physical activity and challenges—our employees are very competitive –that really appealed to us,” Kurtz added.

As employees become more active, these positive changes are now reinforced throughout the workplace. Employees can be found talking about healthy recipes in the kitchen, and how many steps they’ve gotten in walking meetings.

“It’s great to see the energy and participation. People are excited about the Virgin Pulse program,” Kurtz said.

To bring the culture change another step further, Finish Line has also made its corporate campus tobacco-free, offers free fruit throughout the office, and has a weekly walking group.

Finish Line employees today are highly engaged in the Virgin Pulse program, with 63 percent of eligible employees enrolled. Of that group, 70 percent of employees are getting enough physical activity to meet recommended levels for good health, and are averaging nearly 10,000 steps per day.

The changes Finish Line has seen are impressive, and have helped support its recruitment efforts while helping secure employee retention.

“People who hear about the well-being program we have here with Virgin Pulse want to come work with us,” Kurtz said. “The employees we have want to stay as a result.”

Up next on Finish Line’s list? Rolling out the Virgin Pulse program to a second group of 3,000 employees working in the company’s retail stores. We wish them luck and will be here to support them along the way as they work to tackle that goal in 2015!

Want to hear more about Finish Line’s employee well-being program? Check out the full story!

Margaux Novak, Marketing Communications Manager, manages public relations and social media at Virgin Pulse. Merging her knack for reading everything in sight with her slight risk-taker tendencies, she’s always up for trying out newly researched marketing campaigns. Apart from this, Margaux is an avid traveler, photographer, and publishing poet. Follow her on twitter: @margauxnovak

Employee Well-Being Platforms: A Buyer’s Guide + Discussion


The New Year’s upon us and we’re back in the swing of things. We’re thinking about what 2015 has in store – both personally and professionally. Many of us ask ourselves questions like, “Have we set our goals? Are we clear on what we want to accomplish? What will help us achieve the results we’re hoping for? And how can we really make a difference this year?”

Most likely, our employees are considering their personal and professional priorities, too, wondering how to best manage and accomplish them. Here’s the thing: everyone has competing priorities. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day (even Beyoncé), and there’s only so much we can accomplish in that finite amount of time. Too often, when we’re stressed, overwhelmed, and squeezed for time, we’re careless with our own well-being.

Think about the days when a last minute 5:00pm meeting pops up, a deadline gets pushed up, the babysitter calls out sick… you get the idea. Ever skip a workout, hit a drive-thru instead of cooking a healthy meal, or not get enough shut-eye because you’re trying to do too much or your mind simply won’t let you rest? Yeah, me too.

Point is, when we don’t take care of ourselves, our energy bottoms out, we’re less productive and motivated, and our ability to think clearly and make good decisions is… well, let’s just say less than ideal. None of that’s good for us nor for the businesses where we work.

Companies need a workforce full of people with the physical energy, mental focus, and emotional drive to fuel their businesses. Healthy, engaged, productive employees are any company’s best assets, and that’s why so many employers are increasingly investing in the well-being of their workforce. But often those efforts are disparate, hard to manage, and can appear confusing to employees.

That’s where a platform comes in.

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Well-being platforms simplify the process of designing, developing, implementing, and managing various aspects of a well-being program. They bring together much of what you offer into one easily navigated, easily digested space, then individually guide employees as they take steps to improve their health and well-being.

But selecting the right well-being platform is no easy task. From finding the right partner, to implementing the solution, to communicating the new offering to employees and measuring the effectiveness it delivers, the investment can be significant. So, how do you go about selecting the right one?

Virgin Pulse recently partnered with Fran Melmed, founder of context, a communication consulting firm specializing in workplace wellness, to create a decision-support guide. It’ll help you compare well-being platform options and be confident in your decisions – whether you’re selecting one for the first time or making a switch this year.

Thinking about offering a new employee well-being platform this year? Download the guide. Here’s a peak at what you’ll find in the guide:

Key things to look for

Lots of things to consider as you evaluate well-being platforms, right? What’s critical for some companies may not matter so much to others. From helping you understand the impact a particular platform can provide, to the various features it offers (think components, flexibility, integration, reporting, etc.), to the user experience, support you’ll get, and more, the guide contains 15 critical components to consider. Use it as a resource as you determine what your company needs, evaluate your options, and pick the best fit for your organization.

Critical questions to ask

Once you’ve assessed your options and defined what you’re looking for, it can still be tricky to really dig in and figure out what to ask so you get the information you need to make a decision. The guide offers some useful, specific questions to ask vendors. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s a great foundation to start from that’ll undoubtedly spark some ideas about more questions you’ll want to ask.

How to advance strategy, assess investments

Whether you’ve already got an employee well-being platform or you’re looking to put one in place, you’ll want to make sure you’ve made a wise choice. Use the guide as you assess your investments and get tips on how to think about the value you’re getting from them. There are countless metrics you can measure, but what really matters for your company? The guide can help you determine the best metrics that are critical to your company’s success.

Meantime, let’s take this opportunity to learn together. Take a look at the guide, then share with us in the comments:

  • Your must-have and can-do-without features and services
  • Lessons learned and costly mistakes avoided
  • Categories and questions you think we missed

Katie Tierney is Director of Marketing at Virgin Pulse where she leads marketing communications and public relations. One of Virgin Pulse’s original employees, Katie led efforts to create National Employee Wellness Month, a campaign that helps business leaders learn how companies are successfully engaging employees in healthy lifestyles. A pop culture champ and dance buff, Katie can usually be found busting a move in a Zumba class (or anywhere, really). Follow Katie on twitter: @k_tierney.

Virgin Pulse Wins Everyday Healthiest Employer 2015

vpAward season is so much fun. The drama. The dresses. The inevitable trip-fall-swoon while Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman rush to catch you (you know, the usual.)

Well, Virgin Pulse has swooped up its own coveted award this year to the tune of 2015’s Everyday Health’s “Healthiest Employer” award! These awards recognize companies demonstrating an incredible understanding of where the digital health marketplace is going and how to propel it forward.

We at here Virgin Pulse know the benefits of having a healthy company culture and   the role it plays in helping employees stay on top of their well-being so they can be engaged and productive at work and beyond. (It works, folks!) We also know it’s important to walk to the talk, which is why it’s pretty common to run into our CEO, Chris Boyce, at our in-office gym many mornings.

So join me in saying, “Woo-hoo, Virgin Pulse!” on 1-2-3… swell! (Pretty sure I heard you. Might’ve been someone still laughing over Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.)

But wait, there’s more! You can check out the other categories and winners for the 2015 Everyday Health Awards. (There’s even one for Pet Health! Cute puppy pics included. So, you know, you should probably check that out…. for research.)

Margaux Novak, Marketing Communications Manager, manages public relations and social media at Virgin Pulse. Merging her knack for reading everything in sight with her slight risk-taker tendencies, she’s always up for trying out newly researched marketing campaigns. Apart from this, Margaux is an avid traveler, photographer, and publishing poet. Follow her on twitter: @margauxnovak 

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Virgin Pulse clients and members discuss how we change lives for good!

Virgin Pulse clients and members discuss how we change lives for good!