Integral Data Systems Inc. of Milford, N.H., is a healthy business. The $30-million manufacturer of computer peripherals offers its 350 employees a discount of at least 20% on membership fees at a local health club by making the initial payment. Participants then reimburse the company through payroll deductions. So far, 25% of the work force has joined the program. Most employees visit Hampshire Hills Racquet & Health Club during lunch breaks and before or after work shifts.
"We consider it a preventative-health benefit," says Sarah Joyce, Integral's personnel director. "It helps our people keep fit and relieves heir job-related stress and frustration. It makes them more healthy and, consequently, more productive."
Nondiscounted memberships for a single adult range from $165 to $765, depending on the facilities used. These include tennis, squash, and racquetball courts; saunas; swimming pools; and weight rooms.
Integral's discount program cost about $10,000 in 1982. "That's a relatively small price to pay for what we get in return," says Joyce, adding that health club benefits are an effective recruiting tool.
"Highly trained people are attracted to these kinds of benefits," she says. "Our engineers like to go over while they're on break to play a quick game of racquetball."
To find out how to shape up your company, contact a nearby health club and ask about corporate discounts. Most clubs will negotiate a plan and offer your employees a free orientation day.