What’s Proactivity Got To Do With It? KKR Wellness Works

6 Nov

Proactive: acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes.


Wellness: the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal.


These two terms are from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. It would seem they naturally go hand-in-hand, but we don’t always remember that. More often than not, we expect wellness to happen as long as we’re not the victim of some ravenous scourge, disease, or terrible accident. Too many people think that in those cases, they couldn’t have done much to prevent sickness—when in fact many of them could have.


Perhaps some of them knew but just didn’t know how to get a handle on their wellness. Some people are lucky enough to be blessed with an extraordinarily healthy life, but most of us have our highs and lows.


One was we can take control of our health is to be proactive. What does that entail? It means getting exams when you’re not already sick, assessing your health risks, and working to live a life that minimizes those risks. We can do this as individuals, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, our workplaces will also support it.


Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., in an alliance with the American Heart Association (AHA), has created a healthcare program that supports this very concept. The program is called KKR Wellness Works, and basically centers on the idea of taking control of our individual health. The company creates an incentive for employees to get screened, communicates a program and incentives to employees, provides additional resources, and tracks individual progress over time.


Programs like this provide a good model for not just companies, but individuals as well. It reminds us that being aware of our current state of health isn’t a privilege—it’s a necessity if we want to live a healthy life. And knowing our individual risks and key health indicators can make all the difference when it comes to taking control. If more people were aware and proactive, we would have less sickness, better physical fitness, and a lower risk of becoming obese or developing other serious problems. And why wouldn’t we want that?



Title: Companies Step Up After Hurricane

Tags: companies, Duracell, hurricane, New York


Hurricane Sandy brought the best and worst out in some of us. And since companies are generally good at gaining the public eye, the niceties that they provide spread like wildfire.


While some companies were busy offering special sales and discounts designed only to profit from the disaster, others were doing selfless acts of goodwill. They are the companies people will remember in a good light long after the storm’s effects have passed. The others will fade away or leave a bad taste in our mouths.


Many companies donated to charity to support those organizations designed to handle disaster response: Coca-Cola, FedEx, Volkswagen, and Kellogg to name a few. But some companies took a step beyond what was necessary or expected, taking a more active role in relief.


Duracell, for example, provided mobile power sources to New Yorkers in Battery Park, sending Rapid Responder trucks full of phone charging stations, computers, and Internet access for people to connect with friends and family to let them know they were okay. Similarly, Comcast opened up its Wi-Fi hotspots to non-customers in impacted areas, allowing them free Internet access when they needed it the most.


Many sports clubs and gyms in New York opened their doors to victims of the hurricane, offering some of the most basic needs: “In an effort to offer the comforts of home to all those who have been affected, the New York Sports Club will be opening its doors to all victims for full use of its facilities, whether it’s the need for a hot shower, to charge a cell phone battery, or simply to recharge their batteries with a stress-relieving workout.”


Goldman Sachs is providing water and charging stations. Target is donating foods and other goods to affected communities—such as pillows and cribs. GM has donated 50 Silverado trucks for the American Red Cross to use, as well as $250,000 to their Disaster Responder Program.


Even some banks are stepping it up: Wells Fargo, BofA, Citi, and many more are waiving late payment fees and ATM fees for customers. And in an effort to keep people well informed and safe, major publications like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal allowed full electronic access to non-subscribers until the disaster passes.


It really is inspiring to see how many companies really do care—and not just about their customers. They’ve shown their humanity through this disaster, and we’ll remember them for it.


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