Lawley manager talks mental health, wellness programming – Buffalo Business First – The Business Journals

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If employees have struggles in their personal lives, it’s likely to affect their work.
It’s a concept that’s becoming more and more normalized as we enter into a new phase after periods of remote and hybrid work.
That’s why Lawley LLC, a Buffalo-based insurance firm, focuses on helping workers be happy, healthy and whole.
“We try to find ways to support them professionally and personally … really just making sure that they are living their fullest life,” said Andrea Dickerson, Lawley human resources manager.
The firm has about 450 associates, including about 350 in Western New York. Some workers are fully remote, but most have hybrid schedules.
To support employees’ wellbeing, the company focused even more on mental health through its wellness program during the pandemic, Dickerson said.
The business uses a third-party health portal where workers can earn points for a wide variety of actions, from getting dental checkups twice a year to community service to donating blood. Points go toward a monetary incentive.
Within the last two years, the firm added taking a mental health day to the list of activities to earn points.
A walk-run club, formed through the company’s wellness committee, for employees also started during the pandemic. Any staffer interested can join the group, which has its own email newsletter and puts out playlists for people to run or walk to.
The club typically goes on 20-minute walks twice a month to socialize, get fresh air and take a little mental health break. The time is separate from staffers’ lunch breaks.
On top of the points program, Lawley generally holds one wellness challenge every quarter. Some are repeated annually because of their popularity, like a walking challenge where workers form teams and track their steps to compete for prizes.
This year, 90 contestants formed teams and walked 15.8 million collective steps in 28 days.
The wellness team tries out new challenges based on employees’ interests and needs and based on anonymous data from its medical insurance vendor. To further focus on mental health, the firm held this February a resiliency challenge that focused on helping staff develop coping skills and highlight people’s confidence and strengths.
“For this year, there’s a big focus on mental health, readjusting post-pandemic, re-acclimating into the workforce and society, making sure people feel supported and have resources,” Dickerson said.
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