Fostering Health and Wellness

PG&E and its unions collaborated on a new medical plan to integrate more incentives for employees to take advantage of wellness opportunities and focus on quality preventive care.

PG&E is committed to the health and well-being of our employees. By its nature, much of PG&E’s work every day involves physically demanding tasks, making it critical that we help keep employees fit and healthy. In an effort to expand the range of programs and services we offer, and to empower employees to make healthier choices, we have added wellness programs, increased participation in our current offerings and redesigned our medical plan to integrate more incentives for employees to take advantage of wellness opportunities and focus on quality preventive care.

This approach is driving positive results: a comparison of 2011 to 2012 data shows a more than seven percent reduction in health-related lost workdays. This means PG&E increased productivity by more than 16,000 workdays in 2012—the equivalent of about 60 employees working full time all year.

New Medical Plan Promotes Health and Quality Care

By working collaboratively with a broad set of stakeholders—including management and union-represented employees, consultants in the medical field and our own human-resource experts—we jointly developed a new medical plan, designed to improve the overall health of our workforce. The plan is now in effect for over 7,900 management employees, and will go into effect for union-represented employees in 2014.

The new plan—which emphasizes preventive care and wellness—better leverages our ability to purchase higher quality care, and focuses on free primary and preventive services such as health screenings. By taking an annual health screening, employees can earn credits in a health reimbursement account that can be used to pay for out of pocket medical expenses. If employees participate in all the incentive options, they can reduce their deductible to zero each year. In 2012, 75 percent of the eligible workforce received a health screening, placing PG&E in the first quartile compared to other companies who offer health screenings.

Employee Health and Wellness Resources

  • Health advocacy services to help employees navigate the complex health care system and identify quality providers and centers of excellence for high-risk conditions.
  • Health screenings onsite at the larger PG&E locations as well as a concierge service so employees can conveniently check key health indicators such as cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar at home or work.
  • Telephonic health coaching for one-on-one support to help employees meet their health goals.
  • An extensive online health and wellness portal with calorie trackers, meal and exercise plans and other resources.
  • Enhanced tobacco cessation and gym discount programs to help those who want to take steps to maintain good health.
  • A confidential, online health risk questionnaire, which offers personalized recommendations on how to best maintain or improve health.

Creating a Culture of Health

In 2012, we extended a program to reimburse employees who obtain certification to teach on-site fitness classes at work. Additionally, we opened a “Wellness Corner” at our corporate headquarters, which offers daily exercise classes often led by PG&E employees, on-site weight watchers and various educational sessions. We offered a free flu shot program in 2012 in which nearly 5,300 people participated.

Grand opening of the Wellness Corner

PG&E executives participate in the grand opening of the Wellness Corner at our corporate headquarters.

In addition, we saw increased participation in other wellness programs. We again offered “Active for Life,” a 10-week physical fitness program led by the American Cancer Society that encourages employees to be more active on a regular basis. More than 1,700 employees competed in Active for Life or other wellness-focused team competitions in 2012. We also partnered again with the American Heart Association to celebrate “National Start Walking Day,” designed to get employees moving and complete a 30 minute heart-healthy walk. More than 500 employees participated in this event.

We offer an Industrial Athlete Program for our most physically demanding, high risk jobs—designed to reduce injuries and improve the physical and mental resilience of these employees. It includes post-offer physical assessments to help ensure new hires for the position of lineman are physically fit for duty. The program also includes a full day of curriculum devoted to physical fitness, nutrition, hydration, back care and the importance of being tobacco-free.

We also provide on-site ergonomic assistance for PG&E’s offices, call centers and payment centers. Employees also can use an online break and stretching reminder software program.

Building Momentum at the Grassroots Level

We are helping to foster a strong grassroots effort on improving employee health and wellness.

Nearly 100 Wellness Ambassadors across PG&E assist in implementing and increasing awareness of wellness programs and services. These employee volunteers participate in monthly meetings where they are exposed to a robust curriculum, including the science of behavior change, health promotion basics and tools they can share with coworkers. Their efforts are complemented by wellness fairs and practical tips through newsletters, posters and guest speakers that are available to employees generally.

Supporting Employees in Need

We continue to offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free confidential counseling sessions, support, referrals and information to help employees and their family members. Counselors are conveniently located at 10 work locations throughout our service area and in the communities where employees live.

The EAP hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by licensed clinicians. In addition to counseling, the EAP can help make employees’ lives less stressful by offering free financial, legal and work-life guidance and referrals to child and elder care resources.