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03/05/2014
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Head Line CRC Awarded Refreshed Business of the Year Recognition for Businesses with over 100 Employees

Austin, Minn. – Cooperative Response Center, Inc. (CRC) was honored to recently receive the Refreshed Business of the Year award for businesses with more than 100 employees. CRC was presented the award at the Tuesday, February 25, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and awards banquet. This is the second year Mower Refreshed, a movement that encourages community members to make healthy living easier in Mower County, offered the award to recognize and promote businesses that are finding innovative ways to make healthier choices easier and more accessible to their employees.

“Mower Refreshed, a community engagement wellness effort developed out of Mayo Clinic Health System Albert Lea-Austin, is committed to collaborating with businesses and organizations countywide that seek to foster environments that promote well living,” said Sandy Anderson, community health and wellness coordinator at Mayo Clinic Health System—Albert Lea-Austin. “CRC aligns with the framework that hallmarks Mower Refreshed: Engage, Equip, Employer.”

In recent years, CRC has ramped up its focus on wellness in the workplace to encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles. “CRC believes that if overall health and wellness is enhanced, then productivity, absenteeism and healthcare costs are all affected positively,” explained Nancy Morrison, CRC’s vice president of human resource development. “We have worked very hard over the past few years to ensure our employees have the opportunities they need to maintain a healthy life.”

CRC’s Human Resource Department has implemented a number of health and wellness opportunities throughout the past few years, including offering a health plan that enhances CRC’s focus on health and wellness, providing opportunities for plan participants to earn up to $135 per year in gift cards for completing a health assessment, setting eight health and wellness goals, and/or participating in a six-to-eight week coaching program; offering employees one-to-three wellness-related seminars per month; implementing an annual wellness calendar, which includes wellness challenges, financial seminars, healthy potlucks, walking programs, etc.; and a wellness punch card, giving employees the opportunity to earn a $25 gift card for every six punches they receive (with over 30 opportunities to earn a “punch” throughout the year). CRC also strongly encourages employees to participate in the community, offering a volunteerism program that pays employees to volunteer during regular work hours.

Earlier in 2014, CRC implemented a major initiative to encourage employees to move more with a year-long Fitbit wellness program. CRC is providing interested employees with Fitbit units, a device that tracks the number of daily steps taken, distance, calories burned, activity levels, stairs climbed and sleep quality. Employees pay a nominal fee toward the purchase of the device, with the opportunity to earn the cost back by participating in challenges throughout the year.

The steps CRC has taken to improve overall wellness at the organization and the commitment from leadership to do so were factors that made CRC stand out to the Mower Refreshed award selection committee. “The nomination committee identified specifically that the integration of wellness into the work environment was a key component in selecting the company as a Refreshed Business of the Year,” said Anderson. “The ideas and efforts were innovative, sustainable and have the potential to be adopted by other companies. The wellness model developing at CRC will become a part of the best practices for workforce wellness in Mower County.

“Another significant fact was the commitment from leadership to invest in their most valuable resource, the employees. The commitment was not only evident in the financial support but in offering a variety of programs and incentives to engage in that were meaningful to the employees.”

“Being in control of our own wellness is imperative,” explained Morrison. “With rising costs of health insurance, it’s important we be proactive with our health. It’s critical that we do the right things for our health, take the initiative to lead healthy lives, and lead the way to a healthier future. Making this possible for our employees is one of our strategic initiatives.”

About CRC
CRC is a nationwide, cooperatively owned and operated, 24/7 contact center and central station. Founded in 1992, CRC has steadily increased the size and scope of its operation with offices in Austin, Minn., Dunlap, Tenn., and Abilene, Texas. CRC serves nearly 330 members and associate members in 41 states, representing nearly 5 million consumers. Visit CRC on the web at www.crc.coop.