Metalcraft Promotes Wellness At Work

One in three Americans resolved to get healthier in 2018, but just 8 percent keep their New Year’s resolutions. In fact, almost 40% fail after one month!

Data shows that wellness is important to our economy; the Department of Labor estimates $1.8 trillion in costs because of poor health.

And corporate wellness programs are starting to show measurable results — a roughly 3-to-1 return on dollars invested to the benefit of employees in the form of decreased medical costs and absenteeism. 

See the full report here. 

Still, just nine percent of employees have access to a wellness program at work. “Most business owners look at cost and fail to justify it,” says Shae Coleman, owner of Better Body Movement and a partner in Physiocare Corporate Solutions in Clear Lake, Iowa. “How do you define payback?”

What if you could help everyone?

Metalcraft’s employee-led wellness committee has worked since 2004 to provide well-being opportunities at work and at home for their member owners. They were the first manufacturer in Mason City to be certified as a Blue Zones Project worksite in 2014.

The program hit a tipping point after employee Diane Tefft suffered a frozen shoulder. “One day I couldn’t lift my left arm up,” said Tefft. “I didn’t know what to do. After months of physical therapy wasn’t helping, I was advised to consider surgery.”

A Metalcraft lunch-n-learn opened a new opportunity. Coleman’s lunchtime advice on treating chronic pain led to a new treatment plan, allowed Teft to avoid surgery and led to 100 percent range of motion in her shoulder.

Tefft later helped design Metalcraft’s plan for onsite strength and mobility training. “I wanted to let others with chronic pain know there are options,” said Tefft. “Knowledge is powerful and now the resources are right here. We have access to services during the work day.”

Steve Doerfler, too, previously sought treatment from Better Body Movement and saw results. "We found a lot of people are suffering chronic pain,” said Doerfler, Metalcraft President & CEO. “We asked Shae, ‘what if we could help everyone?’ and really built the onsite conditioning program from there.”

Total well-being

Metalcraft’s wellness team implemented a program aiming for total well-being, encouraging and rewarding healthy choices at home and across the manufacturer’s production and office settings.

The employee-led program educates, treats and motivates people toward healthy lifestyles. In addition to monthly luncheon programs and team-centered strength and mobility activities, Metalcraft provides an on-site pain specialist, ergonomics training, biometric screenings, flu shots and an employee assistance program that delivers mental health services.

Sarah Heinz serves as Metalcraft’s Wellness Coordinator, a volunteer leadership role for a team that has evolved with the program. She says she’s drawn to the responsibility because she likes to help people see the value of being healthy.

“There are many who wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t offered at their job or they didn’t have people to do it with and hold them accountable,” says Heinz of the opportunities offered during the workday and paid by Metalcraft. “People are saving money and feeling better.”

Today, more than half of covered employees enjoy a discount on their health insurance for participating in the wellness program.

Almost 50 percent perform daily half-hour mobility and strengthening exercises on company time with employee-led teams covering two shifts.

Mindful eating is a growing element of the program. Metalcraft has been offering healthy catered food at monthly lunches for the past year. Employee volunteers are starting to stock fridges with fruits and vegetables.

"It takes a lot of effort,” said Doerfler of the ongoing reinvention of the workday to improve health and well-being. “It’s not the easy way, but it’s worth it. There’s no question we’re impacting lives, and we’re not even getting to all of our member-owners yet.”


Metalcraft won the Mason City Chamber's 2017 Workplace Wellness Award for continuously expanding their already exemplary workplace wellness program that promotes a healthy mind, body and spirit.

"Metalcraft sets a great example of the valuable well-being practices employers can provide to workers in the community,” said Chamber President Robin Anderson.

Physiocare Corporate Solutions grew out of the investment in Metalcraft’s holistic approach, evidence of the value of a manufacturer making a wellness program available at work for their people. “Metalcraft is one of the most forward-thinking companies we’ve seen,” says Coleman.


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