New Balance announces new incentive program

by: Nichole Gunn June 4, 2012

New Balance, a leading athletic company that is based in Boston, recently announced the results from its foray into the employee incentive and wellness initiative.

The Motion program from Wellness & Prevention is an experiment designed to improve a company's overall workplace wellness level in an attempt to not only improve overall health and wellness across the workforce but also to reduce how much the employer pays in healthcare coverage and costs due to sick days and other absenteeism.

New Balance completed the pilot program and then expanded its offerings to roughly 750 workers in the marketing, design, human resources and product management departments in their locations in Boston and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Three months after incorporating the program, 37 percent of employee participants reported high levels of energy in the middle of the day, which is an 11 percent increase before the program was instituted.

"New Balance is proud to have a strong culture built on teamwork, creativity and innovation," said Joe Preston, executive vice president of global footwear product and marketing for New Balance. "This program enhanced our workplace environment by engaging our associates to collaborate in new ways to increase their energy and focus levels."

Dr. Jack Groppel developed the program and maintains that sitting in one position for too long, which is commonly done by employees across all levels of a company, can be detrimental to one's health and lead to serious complications down the line.

"People have to realize that even if they are extremely fit, sitting for hours in meetings or on conference calls causes the brain to begin shutting down," Dr. Groppel said. "Today's business leaders need to learn from companies like New Balance that strategic and frequent movement throughout the day can have a positive impact on employee engagement, focus and energy."

According to a recent report from the Utah Pulse, employee incentive programs can make a difference in employees' health. However, in order for a company to notice a significant impact and feel it in its bottom line, they must encourage and receive participation across all levels of their workforce base. Without full participation, an incentive program could just waste money and fail to deliver the results needed to make substantial change in the environment.