Indianapolis based email marketing company Delivra was recently named one of 48 fit-friendly worksites in Indiana by the American Heart Association for promoting health and physical activity in the workplace. This comes on the heels of a 2016 Mira Award nomination for Company Culture of the Year.

Delivra’s CEO Neil Berman is the brains — or legs — behind the company’s fitness efforts. Known for walking up and down the office while on business calls, Berman’s behavior is the kind of top-down approach to health and wellness that employees get behind. More than half of Delivra’s employees participate in fitness activities offered on-site.

How do walking phone calls translate into a company-wide fitness program?

I visited Allyson Inglis, office manager and coordinator of Delivra’s wellness initiative, to learn more about why the company received such prestigious recognition and why they decided to pursue a health and wellness program for their employees.

Allyson Inglis_CIRCLE

Allyson InglisOffice Manager

“Neil has always been a proponent of employees as our biggest asset, and investing in them in a myriad of ways in important — one of which is health and wellness,” said Allyson.

About one year ago, Delivra provided health and wellness screenings for all team members led by the Marion County Board of Health — at absolutely no cost to employees. The wellness screenings measured their vitals, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and weight. Results were shared with the company but were not associated with employee names to maintain privacy. Overall, about half of Delivra’s employees had screenings and some noted high blood cholesterol, which opened up their eyes to a need for more intentional wellness practices within the workday.

“We partnered with Spire Wellness, a local company that helped build the program structure. We developed an internal committee and determined what our goals were, which included ‘a healthy mind, body and spirit. This is what makes a happy worker.’ Delivra has six cultural values they live by, one of which is, we think about the long-term future. This goes for our employees, too. We want them for the long term, and we want them to be happy,” said Ally.

Since the health screenings, the Marion County Board of Health has gone back to Delivra once a month to offer health symposiums. Those that stand out include a nutrition symposium where employees were taught how to make healthy salad dressings, and an exercise routine that focused on how to stretch at your desk with stretch bands. Six months after the initial screenings, employees who participated in the program were tested again to determine progress and achievements, but the conversation didn’t stop there.

Delivra’s well stocked kitchen offers snacks and drinks for employees, but we all know that we don’t always make the best decisions on our own. To offer guidance without imposing rules or regulations upon their staff, Ally and Katie Hettmansberger (The AllyKat team) started color coding all snacks as green, yellow and red. “You should really only have one red snack per week, but you can have four green, for example,” said Ally, who started purchasing from NatureBox and SnackNation, two snack food delivery services that promote healthy snacking.

Delivra Health 1_FI

The biggest impact on employees has been the personal training. Matt Cuzzort, Spire’s personal trainer, offers yoga, pilates, circuit training, personal training, and anything for which employee’s request. Classes are offered three days a week 3-5 p.m. in the gym right down the hall from Delivra’s office space. The gym is also open 24 hours a day.

“Neil pays for half of everything. He pays for half of the gym membership and half of your class fee,” said Ally. Classes are about $80 for 10 weeks, and since Neil pays for half, that averages to about $4 per class. The low price coupled with the gym being just a few steps down from Delivra’s office makes for strong incentives to participate.

“Neil has always said he doesn’t want someone sitting at their desk for over an hour without getting up and walking around. This is why our space is very open and collaborative.”

Personally, Neil Berman and his wife are avid hikers, and there are great walking trails around Delivra’s office. A few employees started a walking/running club, and they meet on Tuesdays to walk or run together. There are also monthly game days during Friday lunch that include corn hole, scavenger hunts, or bocce ball.

Part of the success of Delivra’s health and wellness program comes from the personal nature of how the program is structured. The ability to leave your desk for a workout instead of having to find time outside of work gives employees a range of flexible options they can make work for them. “I think people appreciate that they can take time during their day to workout for a half an hour,” said Ally.

Now that the program is on its second year, Delivra employees can reflect on their progress over the long term. Samantha O’Conner, a client success manager, found out she was pregnant one week before starting her career at Delivra. She stretched and did yoga while pregnant, and after having her baby, the fitness classes helped her regain her balance and control over her body. Now she’s working toward losing weight and increasing endurance, and Matt personalizes her training while also pushing her when they both know she can do more. “As my friends who don’t work for Delivra have found out about it, they are so jealous. It’s nice that Neil is so supportive, and it’s nice to have it built in so I don’t have to figure out when it’s time to go to the gym.”

Jamie Lindley, also a client success manager, participates in the circuit training, walk/run club, PiYo, and high intensity circuit class. “I need to get up during the day to stay focused or I get a little squirrely,” said Jamie. “I think this program is amazing and I’ve seen more people latch on that weren’t interested in the beginning but have chosen to participate later, and are now showing visible signs of success.”

Delivra has offices in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Louisville and recently unveiled a new software package dedicated to e-commerce marketing and remarketing automation for small- to mid-sized retailers. You can also learn more about the company in their featured company profile.