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Some States Offer Free Health and Wellness Benefit Programs

Mandy McIntyre Employee Benefits
May 5, 2021 at 1:59 p.m.

RCS Influencer Mandy McIntyre says to check with your state’s Bureau of Workers’ Comp department for free benefit programs like wellness programs.  

Editor’s note: The following is an interview with Mandy McIntyre as part of our RCS Influencer Interview Series. You can listen to the interview or read the transcript below.   


Hello. My name is Megan Ellsworth, and I am here with Mandy McIntyre for the April influencer topic, what new and unique benefits are you offering your employees? Hi, Mandy. How are you? 

Mandy McIntyre: Hi, Megan. I'm well, thank you. How are you? 

Megan Ellsworth: Doing good. Glad that spring is finally here. It's getting a little warmer. 

Mandy McIntyre: Yes. Yes. I love it. 

Megan Ellsworth: Me too. So what are you guys doing over there in Cleveland? 

Mandy McIntyre: So some new things that we are rolling out for this season... A big key component of our overall employee benefit package, aside from offering healthcare, medical, dental vision, we are starting a wellness program. It's actually really cool because the state of Ohio... So I encourage everyone to look into what their states offer them. Through the Bureau of Workers' Comp, they have an entire wellness program that's completely free, and what they offer. 

Megan Ellsworth: Oh. 

Mandy McIntyre: Yeah. I mean, it is a great program. I am beta testing myself with what the different things are right now, because we're rolling it out next month, but they have free coaching. It can be one-on-one coaching or group coaching, and it's all virtual. But it has that accountability factor, which I love. You can actually make money off of this. They are sending you a $75 gift card if you do a blood panel test to test your cholesterol, all that stuff that goes into a blood panel testing. 

It's very convenient because you can go to your own doctor. You can go to Quest Diagnostics which offers the testing, or they can send you a panel that you prick your finger at home, take the blood ,and you send it back in. So there are making it as easy as possible. They have programs for quitting smoking, programs for nutrition, programs for weight loss, programs for physical fitness. I'm so excited because I'm a huge advocate for health and wellness. They have mental health programs, and it's all completely free for us as an employer. All we have to do is promote it. So, what I'm doing- 

Megan Ellsworth: Wow. 

Mandy McIntyre: Yeah. I'm so excited. I'm so excited. So, I'm automatically enrolling everybody that's in our company, into the system, and it's up to them to continue on. Obviously, we can't force anyone to do this, but what we're going to do in our Toolbox Talks is really promote health and wellness for everybody in our company to make this a vibrant working environment. So I'm real excited. 

Megan Ellsworth: That's incredible. I love that you guys, that they're also offering mental health help or emotional support. That's great, and to be debuting this... I don't know if that's the right word, but we're going to use it. Debuting this in the spring when everyone's starting to get ready for summer and more people feel a little bit better out of the winter blues. This is brilliant. I love to hear this. 

Mandy McIntyre: Yeah. It's really interesting because the reason they're doing this is that they're finding for workers' comp claims, a lot of things that happen on the job site are actually a by-product of a more serious problem, whether it's lack of sleep. There's programs on sleep that they offer. Whether it's poor nutrition, hypertension, obesity, those are actually the things that are causing job-site injuries or contributing to them. So the State is seeing if we approach health and wellness, how will this then affect our job-site injury, which makes total sense. 

I'm so glad that our state is doing this because, I mean, actually it's pretty basic when you think about it. If you have healthy workers, you're going to have less injuries, but it's almost so basic that everyone kind of forgot about it. It's how I see it. You know what I mean? 

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. 

Mandy McIntyre: So, we're doing that. Another thing we're doing is... Well, we actually did this last year. We started it. But we have weekly yoga classes here that I teach because I'm a certified yoga instructor. 

Megan Ellsworth: Oh, my gosh. 

Mandy McIntyre: And I love this for roofers because roofers are generally in a hunched position all day. They're working on a flat room or on a pitched roof, whatever. So I can't tell you how many times I have field employees complain about lower back issues. I have posted different exercises they can do. We primarily are going to be focusing on lower back, strengthening the lower back and then also stretching it because every single person has been complaining about low back pain. There's definitely something that I think every roofing company should offer because it does really help. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. Well, I got to say, these things that you guys have been doing and are beginning to implement seem like complete game changers. I think you're so right in the sense that it's so simple that everybody forgot about it. 

Mandy McIntyre: Well, right. Yeah. You think of like, okay, do you have your PPE? Are you following OSHA guidelines? But it's like, okay, but are you getting enough sleep? Are you drinking enough water? Are you eating healthy? Is your blood pressure okay? Yeah. We all forgot about those just basic overall health components. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, for sure. Oh, wow. This got me all excited. This is so cool that you're doing that. 

Mandy McIntyre: It is exciting. Thank you. I'm so glad you're feeling the vibe with this. 

Megan Ellsworth: I am feeling the vibe. 

Mandy McIntyre: It's awesome. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yes, well- 

Mandy McIntyre: And another... Yeah. And another thing- 

Megan Ellsworth: Go ahead. Go ahead. 

Mandy McIntyre: Thanks. No, another thing that I'm actually really, really excited about is May is mental health awareness month. So I really, really, really want to focus on mental health as part of our... And I may have talked about this in another chat we had. But for our Toolbox training or Toolbox Talks that we do every week, I lead the team safety meeting. Every Friday we do that. And so what we started doing this year is alternating between a mental health Toolbox Talk and a physical health Toolbox Talk, because again, you can practice all the safety protocol you want. 

But if someone's head isn't in the game or they have some outside influences that is affecting them, whether it's depression or anxiety, that's just as important as making sure you have your gloves and goggles on and hard hat, because, I mean, that's going to affect a person on a job site. That is another huge thing that we're doing as far as benefits because making it normal to talk about mental health, because I feel like it's still a very stigmatized conversation and it shouldn't be. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yes. For sure. 

Mandy McIntyre: I mean, especially with this year we had with COVID, mental health has been a real issue. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, for sure. Not being able to maybe see certain family members or for an extended amount of time, and that can have a serious effect on people's emotional and mental health. I love that you guys are taking the steps to support your employees in that manner because it is truly so important and especially in roofing. You got all these, usually big tough guys up on the roof that don't really a lot of times want to talk about their feelings. So I think giving people the space and the opportunity to feel safe doing so is really great. So thank you guys for doing that for your employees. 

Mandy McIntyre: Yeah. No, it's great. The one Toolbox Talk we did was recognizing your emotions, and there was laughter when I announced, "Okay, this is what we're talking about today." But by the end of the talk, everyone was a lot more serious when just realizing how when you get frustrated on the job site, when you get angry, how that's going to affect your work and your overall mood. So, I mean, they're all very basic principles. It's just stuff we don't talk about enough. Bring it into the conversation. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yes. Well, thank you so much, Mandy. 

Mandy McIntyre: You're welcome. 

Megan Ellsworth: I think this has been maybe my favorite topic or discussion of the month. 

Mandy McIntyre: Thank you. Thank you I love it. That makes me so happy. I'm very passionate about it. 

Megan Ellsworth: I'm so happy. Well, I'm glad to hear about it. And do you have any last words? 

Mandy McIntyre: Take care of your mind, body, and soul, everybody. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yes, for sure. 

Mandy McIntyre: They're all connected. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yes. They most certainly are. Well, thank you, and I will be talking with you next month. 

Mandy McIntyre is the Operations Officer at 1st Choice Roofing Company. See her full bio here.  

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