Target Advances Culture of Well-Being With HealthLead™ Accreditation

Target is among the first companies to achieve accreditation in US Healthiest’s HealthLead™ program, an emerging standard in workplace health promotion.

Senator Amy Klobuchar (far left) moderated the HealthLead™ discussion between panelists (from left to right) Jodee Kozlak, Jim Harter and Nick Baird at Target headquarters in Minneapolis.

The search for a definitive actuarial link between worksite wellness programs and reduced insurance risk may well emerge from HealthLead™, a rigorous new wellness accreditation program that last year was alpha-tested by Target.

A panel of national wellness experts convened on April 30 in an auditorium at Target’s national headquarters in Minneapolis to discuss the program for an audience of more than 200 leaders in business, public health and academia.

The event was hosted by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota and moderated by Senator Amy Klobuchar, co-chair of the Congressional Wellness Caucus. Panelists included Nick Baird, M.D., CEO of US Healthiest; Jodee Kozlak, Target’s VP of Human Resources; and Jim Harter, Ph.D, chief scientist of Workplace Management and Well-being for Gallup’s workplace management practice.

“HealthLead™ accreditation is a game-changer that puts employee health on the agenda in board rooms and C-suites, doing for human capital sustainability what LEED certification has done for environmental sustainability,” said Baird, who developed the program. “Our alpha and beta test worksites – including Target, HealthPartners, ING and the Sabes Jewish Community Center here in Minnesota – are using their well-being initiatives and HealthLead™ accreditation to drive improved health, productivity, business outcomes and organizational performance.”

Target is one of the first companies to achieve HealthLead™ accreditation, earning a Silver accreditation as an alpha-test site in 2011. US Healthiest will launch the program nationally this month.

HealthLead™ sets standards for workplace wellness programs in three areas: organizational engagement and alignment; population health management and well-being; and outcomes reporting. The accreditation process includes an online assessment and a site visit by a HealthLead™ accreditation team to audit an organization’s well-being programs against a set of established standards and promising practices.

Target’s Kozlak said employee health provides the foundation of Target’s workplace environment and culture throughout its stores, distribution centers and headquarters.

“Target has a longstanding commitment to building strong, healthy, safe communities, and we believe that this commitment starts with our own team,” Kozlak said. “We foster a healthy workplace and encourage Target team members to be their personal best because we know healthy team members are better able to assist our guests and contribute more actively to their communities.”

Gallup’s Harter is working with Target to advance its culture of health and well-being. He considers Target a national leader in its commitment to employee health.

“Over the last decade, Gallup has worked with hundreds of organizations to help leaders create engagement and enhance the well-being and performance of their workforce,” Harter said. “The most progressive organizations not only understand that they are in the business of boosting their employees’ well-being, but they also use this as a competitive advantage to recruit and retain employees. Target is taking the lead in embracing well-being as a strategy to improve team member lives while it improves performance.”

Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota President Tom Mason says HealthLead™ is a progressive response to the nation’s health and healthcare cost crisis, and believes Target’s comprehensive culture of well-being is a model that other companies should emulate.

“We’ve heard from employers throughout the state that their rising healthcare costs are unsustainable and they want to do something about it,” Mason said. “HealthLead™ accreditation and Target’s culture of well-being highlight the practical next steps for employers of all sizes to get a handle on these costs.”

About the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota

The Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota is a public-private partnership that includes a group of Minnesota companies joined together to help Minnesotans get and stay healthy through entertaining and engaging information, events and competitions. Alliance member companies include Target, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Cargill, Medica and The Midwest Dairy Association, along with the Minnesota Department of Health. See video clips of this groundbreaking town hall event.