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Crow Wing Energized: The Personal Impact of Workplace Wellness

Each month, Crow Wing Energized's Workplace Wellness group focuses on core goals of employee satisfaction, maximizing productivity, reducing absenteeism and health care costs. Photo illustration1 / 3
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Paulette Thoennes3 / 3

If you would have told me five years ago I would be passionate about being involved in a community effort to bring wellness to the workplace, I would have laughed and said, "Seriously, me? Have you looked at my lifestyle?

Plus, I am on the sales team so why do you want someone from sales at that table?"

Well, I can honestly answer that it was one of those opportunities where the door opened, so I

uncomfortably walked through it and am so thankful I did! From being involved in Crow Wing Energized, my eyes have been opened to the health needs in my home, community and yes, our workplace. We at Consolidated Telecommunications Co. are truly leaders in our community and area. I say "area" because we are becoming wide reaching as we continue to expand and what we share with our coworkers and families is making a difference! I have been personally touched by the teachings of this wellness community. In my home, my daughter took the National Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Change class and is significantly healthier. This has inspired our family to make different choices for meals and to become more active. I can honestly say that in the last two years I've been the healthiest that I have been in 20-plus years.

I have taken hikes and bikes to places where I used to question "are you trying to kill me" only to realize that they just wanted to show me some amazing beauty. I've found that we have hidden treasures in our backyard, not to mention up on the North Shore.

Monthly, I sit with people as we discuss everything from the costs of obesity and smoking, to financial and mental health, to moms coming back from maternity leave having a space to breastfeed. Our goal is to achieve employee satisfaction, maximize productivity, reduce absenteeism and reduce health care costs. I have learned so much from other companies and met people that I would have not otherwise met. It continues to impress me how many generous people we have in our community that not only give of their time, but with their dollars as well. We all have the same wants; to have a community where we are thriving and healthy. It starts with an investment in our health and our giving!

One of my favorite things on this journey is that I have had the pleasure of attending a "Wellness Conference" with Holly. Her inspiration and excitement about healthy living has continued to excite me. Each year at this conference we are introduced to so many good ideas to bring back to CTC. We have been able to attend classes that have changed my thinking and created the need to research more on the subject. We have been able to share with many of you the information and tools that are available.

Here at CTC we have tremendous support from our management team. They understand the value of keeping all of us healthy. As our health care costs continue to climb, it is up to each of us to use the tools available to find ways to lower those costs.

I ask you to look around at those you work with and see what they are doing in their health journey. There are many awe-inspiring people here! Each of us can do our part to learn from each other. I also ask you to join in a volunteer effort or simply get involved with something outside your comfort zone to see where it leads you. As I found, it didn't kill me and it has been amazing!