Houghton International Inc.

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Location: Valley Forge, PA
Founded: 1865
Industry: Specialty chemical and fluids

Houghton International Inc.

Mike Shannon

Committing to wellness: Houghton International Inc. started a wellness program to help employees understand their health and take charge of it. “We want to educate employees on their numbers and help them become better consumers when it comes to their families and their own health,” says CEO Mike Shannon. “Employees should know what questions to ask about their health.” The company also believed a wellness program would reduce sick days, increase productivity and lower the cost of medical claims.

FUN FACT: Houghton has fruit delivered to the office weekly to provide a healthy snack for employees.

Special perks: Since first launching its wellness program in 2007, Houghton has provided different plans and events, including Weight Watchers classes and lunch-and-learns on topics such as healthy eating and stress. “We also offered employees weekly yoga classes and cardio training three times a week,” says Shannon. Chair massages once a month help employees cope with stress. During the annual Health, Fitness and Safety Day, Houghton invites outside vendors for yoga, meditation, chair massages, and more.

Solid results: Houghton’s wellness program started at 5 percent participation and is now at 68 percent. “We had one employee who was overweight and had a blood problem,” says Shannon. “By participating in our Weight Watchers class, she lost about 80 pounds and her blood disorder went away.”