How Humana Has Built a Culture of Well-Being – and How You Can, too

Humana is a health and wellness company that has been committed to supporting not only its customers, but also its own associates. We know from experience and from research that in order to improve and maintain the well-being of employees, an organization should ensure its culture aligns with wellness priorities.

Creating a culture of well-being, however, cannot be accomplished by wellness programs alone. It also takes leadership, training, communications and messaging, policy developments, and sometimes even changes to the worksite environment. Over the years, the business segment I oversee at Humana has taken on a number of initiatives to develop a culture that supports and nurtures employee well-being.

How did we do this? By adopting the principles of building a culture of well-being, some of which I will share with you. Hopefully, these ideas can inspire you to make changes in your own organization.

How to build a healthy work culture

Rewards and recognition
One of the ways we fully integrated a program into a company culture was with Go365®, a wellness program that uses rewards, incentives, and behavioral science to drive associates to make better decisions for their well-being. Some of these rewards and incentives come in the form of personal activity trackers to help with physical activity, as well as items like movie tickets that can help us work on our emotional well-being.

A healthy work environment
Every year, associates can opt to join Humana’s 100 Day Dash, which starts in April and ends in July. It’s the longest well-being challenge of the year and offers a few extra rewards and incentives for new participants. The Dash is a company-wide pursuit, creating a fun competition to bring together different teams across the organization created by the associates themselves. In the past, our segment has made charitable donations if participants collectively reach an overall step goal during the challenge.

Extending well-being outside the workplace
We want our associates to truly live the values of well-being, and that means extending their healthy practices beyond the physical workplace and outside of normal working hours. Volunteer time off (VTO) is one of our newer leave policies to help with our associates’ sense of community and purpose.
How does VTO contribute to increased well-being? People who volunteer are more likely to have higher morale and productivity at work.

Leadership buy-in
Less an official company policy and more of a suggested best practice, our “digital detox” asks for associates to stay off work email during the weekends. During a time when the line separating work and life is blurring, we want to make sure that people are able to disengage from their smartphones, tablets, and computers for work-related matters so they can take the time to invest in their families and their own wellbeing. For my part, I follow this policy with few exceptions signaling to our associates that it’s okay to step back from work on the weekends.

The same goes for our meeting-free Friday afternoons. This measure has been recommended within leadership communications (newsletter, email, and town hall) so that all levels within my segment are encouraged to participate. We want to create opportunity for more balance in our associates’ schedules, and see the end of the week as a good time for associates to take a breather from meetings and catch up on their work.

The next level of wellness

It’s my firm belief that wellness programs should be coupled with both formal and informal changes to create a culture that prioritizes well-being. While the Humana way to do this is not the only way, it does provide perspective into how we’ve both prioritized and achieved success. You can also create a culture of well-being in your organization. All it takes is the drive to do so… will you join us on that well-being journey?

For more tips and tricks on creating that culture of well-being, visit

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.
June 14th, 2017 8:38pm