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We’re trimming our HISD staff – in the best possible way

2014 March 27
by HISD Communications

Our benefits department is about to pay out $80,000 in bonuses to our employees and is prepared to fork over a lot more over the next three months. We couldn’t be happier.

That money represents a terrific concept by that department and a spirited commitment by more than 5,500 of our employees to lose weight and get healthier. It’s called the HealthyWage Challenge, and in its first month, more than 2,000 of those employees had made their goal of a four-pound weight loss, with a total of 14,400 pounds melting away.

For that hard work, they’ll see an extra $40 in their April 9 paychecks – and we know they won’t be using it to splurge on a few pints of Blue Bell chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

Employees signed up individually or in teams for a four-month challenge that could earn them a total of $160 for a 16-pound loss. They haven’t just been practicing smarter eating habits – exercise and fitness has become part of the equation. It’s been fun looking out the windows at Hattie Mae White during lunchtime the past few weeks and seeing individuals and groups walking vigorously or gathering near the Delmar athletic complex for exercises.

The potential payout is worth it. Unhealthy employees are far more costly in lost time and rising benefits rates. Healthy employees feel better, and that translates into clearer thinking and generally happier workers. The ripple effects of 2,000-5,000 employees improving their health will be felt by co-workers, students, parents, those who do business with HISD, and extended school communities.

HISD has a strong reputation for its concern about the well-being of employees. Once again this year, the Houston Business Journal has named us one of its top healthiest employers for those efforts. Our healthcare options are supportive of our staff, and for four years, we’ve operated two Employee Health & Wellness Centers – clinics that offer no-cost basic health care to employees in those healthcare plans and their covered dependents 5 years and older.

HISD’s philosophy is simple: Healthy employees help create a healthy district. And thanks to all our employees who are eating right and exercising regularly, we’re getting healthier every day.

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