PEBA Partners is an award program that honors employers that demonstrate a dedication to promoting a physically, emotionally and financially healthier workplace. PEBA strives to recognize employers who are setting the bar for workplace well-being programs across the state. Each year, the application will be sent to participating employer groups in May and the winners will be recognized at the annual Benefits at Work conference.
Overall winner | SC Department of Revenue
The South Carolina Department of Revenue’s (SCDOR) Wellness and Outreach Committees help support Goal 4 of SCDOR’s Strategic Plan: To engage and empower employees. Over the past 18 months, the two programs have developed opportunities for employees to improve their personal wellness and to give back to the community.
The SCDOR invests in all areas of employee wellness: mental, physical, and fiscal health. The agency has hosted two health fairs at the main Columbia location. Vendor participation in these fairs has increased from 14 in 2018 to 22 vendors in 2019. Local businesses offered samples of healthy products including juices, essential oils, and healthy snack and meal options. Credit unions and banks provided information for financial guidance. Two state agencies, SC Parks, Recreation and Tourism and the Office on Aging, also highlighted their services. There was truly something for everyone!
In addition to the health fairs, SCDOR hosted Wellness Days in each district office, with almost 100 percent participation at each location. In 2019, SCDOR invited local vendors to attend Wellness Days so district employees could access some of the same, great information the main office employees received.
SCDOR regularly offer health opportunities such as an annual blood screening and mobile mammography. The agency also offered Lunch and Learns with different vendors including PEBA’s Field Services department. SCDOR hosted two sessions on the SC Deferred Compensation Program and a session on PEBA Perks. The agency’s goal is to provide one wellness event each month and a larger event each quarter. Their current project is a desk stretch video with the agency’s upper management team demonstrating how to perform each stretch.
Wellness articles on a wide range of topics are regularly posted to SCDOR’s intranet.
The Wellness Committee itself is growing to include more representation from each area of the agency. A core team of wellness volunteers also assist with events and fundraisers. SCDOR is planning more fundraising events this year such as fresh fruit sales and a healthy salad bar lunch. These fundraisers will help raise money for door prizes and healthy snacks at events throughout the year.
As public servants, the agency wants to give back to the community. The Outreach Committee provides community service opportunities each quarter. Employees have served meals at Transitions in Columbia; held a Winter Love Drive to provide needed supplies to Transitions; donated school supplies for local children in need; and donated children’s flip flops to DSS. Each December SCDOR has an Angel Tree and helps with registration for the Salvation Army. District offices also organize outreach opportunities to support their local communities including food drives for local food banks, volunteering for the Special Olympics, collecting donations for the Humane Society, and packing weekend lunches for Help 4 Kids.
Ensuring employees have access to wellness and outreach information and opportunities helps establish and maintain a more empowered and engaged workforce at SCDOR. It is their goal is to continue growing these programs for our employees!
Higher education winner | Horry-Georgetown Technical College
Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is committed to the health and wellness of their faculty and staff and creating an environment that is inclusive of a healthy lifestyle. By providing wellness programs, they strive to increase awareness and encourage participation so that employees will continue to make positive choices which have an impact on their lives at work and at home.
HGTC recently implemented a Wellness Ambassadors Program, allowing interested employees to volunteer their time promoting health and wellness among faculty and staff. Wellness Ambassadors serve as liaisons between departments and human resources helping to direct employees to wellness programs, activities, and resources.
Other programs and healthy initiatives HGTC has implemented include:
• Lunch and Learn sessions on various topics (Mindfulness, Financial Wellness, Women’s and Men’s Health, Deskercise);
• Onsite preventative screenings;
• Onsite flu shots clinics;
• Employee assistance program;
• Employee appreciation pamper days (chair massages and health checks);
• Bank at work programs with BB&T, First Citizens, TD Bank, Anderson Brothers Bank & South State Bank;
• Annual employee benefits fair;
• Monthly wellness newsletters featuring articles from PEBA’s Health Hub and healthy recipes, promotion of PEBA perks, health and wellness programs, and local community health related events;
• Onsite fitness Center available for employees; and
• HGTC Goes Red for Heart Health in February, Pink Out Day in October for breast cancer awareness, Mental Health Awareness in May
State agency winner | Department of Education
The South Carolina Department of Education’s shared vision is to ensure that every student meets the Profile of the South Carolina graduate, so they’re ready for the military, workforce, technical college, or a four-year college or university.
For this to happen, the South Carolina Department of Education is making the agency a place where people want to work and incorporating wellness to increase employees’ productivity and performance. Their commitment to employees is a statewide effort. Their employees are serving the schools thru out South Carolina and making sure that children are being transported safely to and from school. Having healthy employees and providing the necessary wellness programs and incentives is a benefit that keeps giving. To promote a healthier work environment, the South Carolina Department of Education offers the following wellness benefits and incentives:
• Red Cross Blood Drives;
• Flu shot clinics;
• Free or reduced cost health screenings;
• “Wellness Wednesday” – Walk Around USC’s Horseshoe;
• Employee Assistance Program;
• Tobacco Free Workplace;
• Workplace Safety and Health Workshops;
• Distribution of the monthly publications and email blasts from the PEBA Health Hub Toolkit;
• Interdepartmental Weight Loss Challenges;
• New Hire Orientation Section on PEBA Perks and Wellness; and
• Step Challenge.
Optional employer winner | City of Goose Creek
The City of Goose Creek Human Resources offers a robust wellness program where employees are offered the opportunity to earn paid time off for wellness activities that promote greater health in their personal and professional lives.
The City offers paid time off/wellness hours for vision screenings, mammograms, colon exams, immunizations, PSA tests, diabetes tests, skin checks, dental cleanings, wellness screenings, weight loss programs, smoking cessation programs, educational sessions, donations of blood, flu shots, using health coaches and other healthy behaviors. They allow this time to be banked for an employee’s use in addition to their sick and vacation programs.
The City offers quarterly educational lunch and learns geared toward mental, physical and financial wellness. They have offered employees the opportunity to see their contracted nurse for private health coaching and nutrition consultations in addition to the free health coaching through PEBA. The City hosted onsite exercise sessions for employees with an exercise physiologist and onsite healthy cooking demonstrations with a nutritionist, including a Healthy Holiday Makeover contest. The nutritionist taught fire fighters how to eat healthy and to prepare meals. The City gave each fire station an Instant Pot to cook more healthy meals and hosted a healthy potluck event. They also hosted a weight loss contest where employees lost nearly 300 pounds in 12 weeks.
In May 2019, the City implemented an interactive walking challenge program where employees were challenged to walker more than 8,500 steps per day. The first challenge was called "Get Fit on Route 66" and those who achieved the step goals received one hour of paid time off and random walkers won prizes. One hundred employees walked 9,328,220 steps in this first challenge. Walking challenges are hosted monthly throughout the year. The City also has gyms with a variety of equipment onsite at every fire and police department. They also have a full recreation center where employees and spouses can receive a membership.
The City also promotes PEBA programs, such as Rally, No-pay Copay and PEBA Perks.
Public school district winner | Lexington-Richland School District 5
School District 5 of Lexington and Richland counties’ staff understand the importance of healthy lifestyles and financial well-being. Their employees continue to enjoy opportunities that have been offered through a partnership with PEBA.
The District uses many forms of communication to ensure employees are aware of their state benefits. New hire orientations highlight the well benefits offered by PEBA, and new employees are given a copy of the current Insurance Summary. E-blasts are sent out strategically to promote PEBA’s webpage. Employees are encouraged to set-up MyBenefits and Member Access accounts. PEBA Field Services’ staff are on hand at the District’s annual school year kick-off.
All 23 schools and the district office offer the worksite screenings, flu shots and many school sites have the mobile mammography services visit their location. The Naturally Slim program was promoted often at all sites. Schools have held “Biggest Loser” competitions, yoga, Zumba and cardio lab classes. School nurses send out healthy tip newsletters. One of the District’s high schools created an indoor walking trail with map for the staff and also created a mindfulness program for both students and staff called “Keeping Your Cool” to help manage stress.
Per Board policy, student nutrition ensures healthy meals and snacks are available for both students and employees. The Nutrition Director held a step challenge for all nutrition employees by giving them each a pedometer to record daily steps with the winner receiving a Fit Bit.
The District has retirement seminars each March for their employees to learn more about PEBA’s retirement plans and Social Security benefits. They host seminars by the S.C. Deferred Compensation and share details with employees about the 403b plans as additional opportunities for investing.