2014 Employee Ownership Conference

On April 7-10th, Dave Backus, CFO,  and I had the opportunity of attending the 2014 Employee Ownership Conference.  It was sold out with over 1,200 attendees.  This conference is sponsored by The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).  With hundreds of top employee ownership experts and almost 90 breakout sessions, we were allowed the opportunity to get questions answered, learn new ideas, explore a variety of critical issues and discuss emerging trends in employee ownership.   From practical case studies and management tips to technical, financial, and legal topics, to communicating and nurturing a culture of employee owners.  It was a beneficial trip and we are anxious to share the information we learned with our employee owners at Stellar.

Stellar Wellness & Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Wellness Challenge

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We’ve discussed our participation in the Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Wellness Challenge in a previous blog.  The LHI 10 Week Wellness Challenge is a great fit for our Stellar Wellness program, encouraging employees to focus on Our People. Our Health.

We have seen friendly challenges among teams, encouraging motivation and thoughtful ideas on how to just keep moving by team members.  We’ve earned electronic badges by recording our data each week, received awesome tips, news and recipes.  While all of this is important, the underlying reason for joining this challenge is to get moving – get active.  By kicking off the challenge at the end of January, we will hopefully carry this motivation and mindset throughout the rest of 2014!  It takes a conscious effort to stay on track, not growing complacent in our goals.  This applies to EVERYTHING in life, from work to home, hobbies and everyday life.  By setting your goals and keeping them in the forefront of you daily life, it will not only help you stay on track, but help you reach that goal quicker.  How many of us thought that 10 weeks was going to last forever?  We are now only a week away from the end of this challenge!  What will be our next goal?

Heading into our final week, Stellar Red, White & Blue have logged an astounding 44,124 minutes of intentional physical activity – that’s just over 735 hours!  It’s amazing how quickly this time has added up and the weeks have flown by!  This challenge is an incredible way to encourage each other to get active.  Way to go, Stellar Red, White & Blue!

Kick-start your healthy lifestyle!

The Stellar Wellness Committee has partnered with Live Healthy Iowa to offer a 10 Week Wellness Challenge for our employees.

What is the 10 Week Wellness Challenge?  Over the course of 10 weeks, teams track activity minutes weekly.  This challenge provides Iowans an opportunity to improve their health while engaging in a fun, friendly competition.  Activity minutes recorded are to be a result of intentional physical activity, rather than just daily activity.  Employees will receive:

·         A Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Challenge T-shirt

·         Weekly activity, nutrition and recipe tips

·         A personal online tracking page

·         Opportunities to win individual prizes and team incentives

·         One-year subscription to a lifestyle magazine

·         Discounted registration to Live Healthy Iowa 5K Challenge finale event

·         Free registration to Winter and Summer Iowa Games Fitness Walks and Zumba ®

As part of the Challenge, Stellar is incorporating a minimum standard of activity of 150 minutes per week for employees to gain additional prizes and incentives.  The Challenge begins Monday, January 27th.  We have 3 teams (Stellar Red, Stellar White, and Stellar Blue) participating in the fun, friendly competition where we will motivate and support each other to make healthy choices.

Good luck to all those who teamed up and joined the Challenge!

The Time is NOW to Quit Smoking

Yesterday, November 21st, was The American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout.  They have designated the third Thursday of November each year as a day to encourage smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing their cancer risk.

Even though the day has come and gone this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a plan today!  You can get information on why to quit and tips on how to quit by following this link, http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/index

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — Nearly 1 in every 5 adults. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.

Why Quit?

The health benefits of quitting start immediately from the moment of smoking cessation. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

Whether it was yesterday, today or tomorrow, make a plan to quit and take the first step to lowering your risk for disease and creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself and the ones around you.

How we stay “stellar” with our Wellness Program

The success of any company depends on the productivity and work performance of its people. The ability to function and perform at a high level consistently is greatly aided by Employee Wellness Programs. The introduction of such programs has been successful in that the results are beneficial for both the employee and the company at large. The Stellar Wellness Program’s focus is on the physical well being of employees, looking after medical requirements and ensuring personal health. Participant’s have an on-site Health Coach available to them to discuss wellness topics.  At Stellar, we don’t forget, it’s all about… Our People.  Our Products.

Below are 10 reasons why we believe our program helps Stellar be “stellar”.

10 Reasons for Wellness Programs

#1 Decreased Health Care Costs
#2 Work Place Morale
#3 Reduced Absenteeism
#4 Reduced Overall Costs
#5 Increased Productivity
#6 Increased Responsibility
#7 Increased Company Loyalty
#8 Reduced Sick Leave
#9 Improved Work Performance
#10 Decreased Health Insurance Costs