Wellness & Workplace: Small Steps, Big Results

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Funny business yogaBy Shayley Swanson

“With life’s busy schedule, you could always come up with an excuse why you couldn’t workout or eat right. TEEX has taken away those excuses now,” says TEEX employee Melinda Pittman.

In April 2015, TEEX began implementing a wellness program that fits the needs of their employees. “We have always had a wellness initiative,” says Martha Alexander, TEEX employee benefits coordinator. “After receiving the wellness grants we had been hoping for, we surveyed the employees to see what their needs were.” The program now consists of several fitness classes, such as yoga and cardio strength training, and nutrition classes led by professional certified personal trainers, and last a full hour. Pre- and post-fitness assessments are also offered so employees know their limitations to avoid any unhealthy or dangerous activities.

“The value of our leadership knowing we need flexibility has been amazing,” says Alexander. She explains that even though the classes are held during the lunch hour, employees are still granted time to shower in the onsite facilities and enjoy lunch.

“On those days, I feel better in the afternoons than any other day in the week,” says TEEX employee Kimberly Everett. Not only are the classes great for fitness, they are also great for morale. “You can just see the positive result on the culture of the work environment,” says TEEX Agency Director Gary Sera, noting that wellness programs have proven to reduce sick time, and increase employee productivity
and overall wellbeing.

Class locations vary among TEEX campuses, allowing easier access for employees across the Bryan/College Station area. Classes have also been scheduled with convenience in mind; many employees have families and little time or energy to work out at the crack of dawn or after the workday.

“I’m shaping up, getting healthy, getting strong, and getting to know more TEEXans all at the same time,” says TEEX employee Terri Sager. “No one judges, and everyone is there to better themselves and their quality of life.”

The biggest challenge for TEEX has been finding space to host the classes and accommodate as many
people as possible.

“We want to extend it out,” says Sera. “The next step is the Brayton Fire Training Field, and then hopefully even to our Mesquite and the San Antonio campuses. We want to reach every employee.”

“The positive feedback has been wonderful,” says Alexander, adding the noticeable changes people have made, not only in weight loss and productivity but also in their lifestyles, have been amazing to see.