WELLNESS: CTC Finds Success in Shaping Up

By Kelly Burns

Employee health and wellness continue to be a top priority at Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC; Brainerd, Minn.), and the Wellness Committee continues its quest to offer numerous events throughout the year to promote this. We have invited several speakers in for Lunch and Learns to educate us on topics ranging from exercise and nutrition to ergonomics and the benefits of essential oils. We also learned how to apply the seven dimensions of wellness for a more balanced life and were educated about our local food co-op.

CTC has sponsored abundant community wellness events, including the Lakes Country Triathlon, Brainerd Jaycees Run for the Lakes, Fit City Glow Run, Baxter Parent-Teacher Organization Family Fun Color Run, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the Warrior Homecoming Run.

One summer we split the employees into two teams and held a six-week competition to see which team could record the most exercise minutes. While the team totals were very close (34,281 to 36,475 minutes), we had one employee who was very determined, recording 10,124 minutes herself! (And by the way, she also competed in an Ironman that fall and placed first in her age category!)

Seasonal Inspiration

This past summer we brought back a very successful campaign from a few years back, “Break Another Bad Habit!” Each employee was encouraged to finally break a bad habit of theirs. Half of our employees participated in this initiative, and 18 of the 32 successfully broke their bad habits.

Just before the holiday eating season, we teamed up with the Hallett Center in Crosby for a fun Burn the Bird Challenge in which the goal was to exercise and burn enough calories prior to eating a big Thanksgiving meal.

Our committee coordinated the Healthy Vending Initiative as a way to provide affordable, healthy snack options for employees. One committee member from each location manages the program and continually adds or removes items based on employee feedback. CTC worked on this initiative with its community partner, Crow Wing Energized, a local grassroots effort promoting healthy living that granted CTC some money through its “Workplace Wellness” initiative.

In addition to the healthy vending options, we also have fresh, healthy salads brought in for purchase biweekly. This certainly helps control the fast-food temptation!

Stand-Up Solution

With all of the evidence about sitting being the new smoking, CTC made a decision to invest in stand-up workstations for the employees as part of one of our offices being remodeled. Now the employees can choose whether to sit or stand throughout the day. In addition to providing incentives for employees to have yearly physicals and biometric screenings, we also provide a wrist bloodpressure monitor at each office that allows employees to periodically track their blood pressure readings and also have workout rooms at each office, complete with scales to check progress.

We take our health and wellness seriously and are fortunate to have 100% backing from our management team. They not only support our ideas but are right beside us as participants— eating, exercising and becoming educated. Kelly Burns is marketing lead for CTC in Brainerd, Minn. Contact her at kelly.burns@ctctelcom.net.

Consolidated Telecommunications participates in NTCA’s GHP Wellness Connections plan. Contact your NTCA member relations manager for more information on how your company can get this wellness plan in place too. Visit www.ntca.org/MemberRelations for contact information.