Thrive Through the Years: CQuence Celebrates 20 Years of Building a Healthier Mind, Body and Soul

CQuence Health Group’s wellness program, Thrive, turns 20 this month and we’re celebrating and reflecting on two decades of wellness challenges, incentives and benefits across our family of companies.

“Since beginning our wellness program in 2000, our vision has always been to make this effort an integral part of our culture, not just another benefit,” said CEO Mike Cassling.

The Thrive program is dedicated to helping our team members embrace wellness in mind, body and soul. As a healthcare company, we truly appreciate what goes into our overall health and wellness. That’s why we reinforce our commitment through a generous wellness program with a full menu of activities that make achieving personal health goals fun, rewarding and memorable.

“The wellness program has really grown through the years,” said Lisa Morris, Senior Accounting Analyst. “There are more people involved now and it’s more holistic than in the beginning when the focus was more on the physical aspects of health.”

That’s not to say that the traditional foundation of good health is ignored. On the contrary: we all know that nutrition plays an important role in a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. At our offices, we don’t have the typical vending machine items you might see at other companies. Our Thrive Pantry offers complimentary healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, salads, flavored zero-calorie water, unsalted nuts and more.

In addition to the Thrive Pantry, our award-winning wellness program includes:

  • An on-site gym with elliptical machines and weights.
  • Daily on-site fitness classes, including yoga, kickboxing and fitness boot camp.
  • Quarterly incentive programs and prizes.
  • Annual employee subsidy for “mind, body and soul” activities.
  • Reimbursement for community runs and walks, golf tournaments and more.

And we certainly can’t leave out Stress Less Week. Every holiday season, CQ and Thrive help team members de-stress with on-site massage therapists, gift card drawings, lunches, and even free gift-wrapping services!

Awards for CQ and Rewards for Team Members

The Thrive wellness program has won several awards throughout the decades. Most recently, CQuence was the recipient of the Governor’s Wellness Award, created to recognize Nebraska employers who have developed successful models for encouraging wellness at work. We have also been recognized with the WELCOA Well Workplace Gold Award for comprehensive workplace wellness initiatives and the American Heart Association’s Fit-Friendly Worksite Gold Achievement for our high-quality workplace health programs and culture of health best practices.

The Thrive program requires continual updates and innovative ideas to keep things relevant and fun for our employees. One of our most innovative offerings is our annual wellbeing allowance, which lets employees and their family members get many of their wellness-related items reimbursed up to a certain dollar amount.

“It’s one thing to invest in employees, but CQuence takes it a step further and invests in our families as well,” said Justin Eggspuehler, Creative Services Manager. “My family and I have used the stipend for ski trips, baseball equipment, a fitness studio membership and much more.”

Almost every team member has taken advantage of the wellness stipend benefit at some point. Fitness accessories like running shoes, athletic wear and wearable devices, as well as gym memberships, are among the most common items submitted for reimbursement. But the list of qualifying items grows each year because we recognize that wellness comes in many forms.

While some employees adhere to traditional concepts of wellness, others prefer to tour a museum, read a book, take cooking classes or engage in a hobby. One individual uses the wellness reimbursement to help pay for horse-riding accessories and another has used it for beekeeping supplies. The reimbursement options are as unique as our employees’ interests.

Many of our team members take their enthusiasm for wellness on the road with them. They take part in marathons, bike rides and various charity runs throughout the country, and CQ is happy to sponsor participants through a separate community stipend set aside just for these types of events.

Captain Cassling – Taking Up the Challenge

The wellness program, originally called Captain Cassling when it was created, was rebranded to Thrive in 2017 after the Cassling company expanded to encompass partners CQuence Health Group and Ensocare. The program itself has also evolved and now includes wellness challenges that find employees tracking steps, supporting charities, gratitude-journaling and more.

“We’re a very family-oriented company, so we do our best to make the wellness challenges family-friendly as well,” said Lisa. “We also have a lot of people who work remote all over the country, so we try really hard to get everyone engaged.”

Each quarter, the Thrive Wellbeing committee organizes a fun new wellness challenge focused on mind, body or emotional wellbeing. The committee also organizes educational presentations, events and engagement opportunities based on the wellness theme for each challenge.

“We have done so many cool incentives over the years,” said Kayla Engel, Senior Human Resources Generalist. “One of our most popular challenges was called ‘Hit the Trails’, which aimed to increase families’ activity minutes week over week. We gave everyone who registered a park permit for their home state so they could literally hit the trails. Everyone had a blast with that one.”

Another popular wellness incentive focused on nutrition. Participants spoke with a dietician and tracked their macronutrients throughout the challenge. Employees shared their favorite healthy recipes and attended free lunch-and-learns. CQ even partnered with Eat Fit Go to provide discounts on healthy meals.

“The Eat Fit Go meals were a unique benefit that made it really convenient to eat healthy,” said Justin. “It was pretty cool that we took that challenge a step further and combined it with education on macronutrients.”

Some of our favorite wellness challenges over the years have combined teamwork with philanthropy. Earlier this year, participants tracked their exercise in a team-based competition to log the most activity minutes over the course of the incentive to receive a $500 donation to the winning team’s charity of choice. And though there could be only one winner, not a single participant charity went empty-handed.

“I was so glad that the company made a donation to each team’s charity,” said Parker Stock, Regional Sales Director at Ensocare. “While I’m sure people joined the challenge to stay active, the donation helped remind us why we signed up in the first place.”

20 Years of Thriving with The Best Yet to Come

Wellness, teamwork and making a difference in our communities are just some of the values that inspire and drive our team members to thrive. We know that when we take care of our employees, they take care of customers, their families, and their communities too. That’s why we’re committed to putting the employee experience first, so that they can do their best work and improve as individuals and teams.

“Our wellness program sets us apart from other employers, especially for a smaller company,” said Lisa. “Having a good wellness program keeps people engaged and everyone really appreciates it.”

Wellness today will shape the healthcare company we become tomorrow. We look forward to the next 20 years of helping our employees thrive in mind, body and soul!

Bruce Stec
About Bruce Stec

Bruce Stec is Vice President of Human Resources for CQuence Health Group and its partner companies. Bruce joined CQuence in 2013 with nearly 20 years of human resources management and consulting experience. Bruce graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and has earned both his Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) certification and his Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification.

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