EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

How This Health Company Woos Employees With In-Office Life Coaches

See how NutraClick uses wellness as a competitive advantage in the battle for top talent.
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This company gives new meaning to the term business health.

Boston Business Journal just named NutraClick as one of the healthiest businesses in Boston. While we often think of a healthy business as just being financially fit, NutraClick sees having healthy employees as just as important.

In an interview, CEO Daniel Wallace told me as much. Further, at NutraClick, a health and wellness company, the focus is naturally on making customers healthy by selling vitamins and anti-aging products. But as Wallace notes, his company also needs a healthy workforce to promote its health products. So, how do you attract a staff that fits that bill?

If you ask Wallace, he'll say it just sort of happens. "Its not at all a requirement for people coming in to reflect that lifestyle. We think it's an advantage and a benefit, but not a requirement," he says. Of course, a company that focuses on health products is naturally going to attract people who live that lifestyle already. Even so, NutraClick does think its policies help seal the deal.

Here's just a sampling of what NutraClick does:

  • In the beginning, the company went the way of a lot of tech startups: free snacks and Red Bull in the fridge. But Wallace soon realized that was a bit of a contradiction for a health-based company, and so the food began to change to reflect the company's mission. Now there are healthier products in the fridge, and that's lead to lower stress levels and increased productivity, he says.

  • In addition to healthy food, NutraClick hired a corporate wellness health coach and personal trainer. This started out as just a test. No one was required to meet with her, the company just made her available at no cost to the employees. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so they brought her on board as a regular part time employee. She helps the NutraClick team build their own wellness plans, rather than just having one overall corporate program. Still, Wallace says, there's no pressure--employees can choose to use her services or not.

  • That's in Boston, but NutraClick also has a call center in South Dakota, quite a different environment. Rather than hire a personal trainer, the South Dakota office expressed interested in a life coach instead. The company also provides discounted gym memberships. Mostly, Wallace says, NutraClick tries to avoid treating the call center like a stereotypical drone cell, where it's all about the metrics and trips to the bathroom are timed. Instead, they looked at what the whole company needed and aligned the call center goals accordingly.

Is this focus on health working?

Wallace reports that his employees feel like the company cares about them. "There's a deeper bond. They feel like part of a team. There is something that the company feels strongly about as well as the message that it's OK during the workday, when the coaching happens, to actually invest in their health." And that makes it a more pleasant place to work, which means that good things for NutraClick's bottom line.

Having a healthy staff and a focus on employee wellness is good for the health of the company, at least at NutraClick.

IMAGE: Courtesy Company
Last updated: Feb 21, 2014

SUZANNE LUCAS | Columnist

Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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