Health and Wellness

Our employees’ health and safety is an integral part of providing our customers with safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy. In an effort to help our employees stay healthy and fit, we’ve designed our health and wellness programs to target the drivers of employee health and provide integrated solutions that benefit our employees, our communities and our work.

Our Approach

Since 2010, the Workforce Health department has overseen PG&E’s health and wellness programs with the goal of improving the overall health and resiliency of our employees.

Using a holistic and data-driven approach, PG&E’s leadership has been able to better analyze and understand the drivers of employee health and wellness and respond with targeted solutions. As a result, we go beyond offering programs that solely support the physical health of our employees. We also offer programs to support their emotional and financial health, understanding that emotional and financial stresses can impact physical health.

Physical Health

The centerpiece of our efforts is our medical plan, which is available to all active employees and is designed to improve overall workforce health. The plan emphasizes preventive care and wellness, leveraging our ability to purchase higher-quality care and focuses on free primary and preventive services. From health screenings for early detection of serious disease risks to telephonic health coaching options to improve their health, employees are empowered to become their own health manager and use the resources offered to adopt healthier behaviors at work and at home.

We also continue to offer customized programs for our field workforce. For example, our Industrial Athlete Program provides a comprehensive, job-specific “hire-to-retire” set of actions to reduce injuries and improve the physical and mental resilience of employees working in the most physically demanding positions.

By taking an annual health screening and either being tobacco-free or participating in a tobacco-cessation program, employees can earn credits in a health reimbursement account that can be used to cover their deductible and pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. During the 2013–2014 campaign, about 89 percent of the eligible workforce received a health screening, placing PG&E in the top quartile for participation rates compared with other companies that offer health screenings.

Emotional Health

    Employee Health and Wellness Resources

  • Health advocacy services to help employees navigate the complex health care system
  • Annual health screenings held on-site at larger PG&E locations, as well as a concierge service so employees can conveniently check key health indicators such as body mass index and cholesterol levels
  • Health coaching by phone 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
  • A tobacco-free program providing one-on-one support with a certified tobacco cessation specialist
  • Gym discounts for employees and their family members
  • A confidential, online health risk questionnaire offering personalized recommendations on how to best maintain or improve health

Our Employee Assistance Program offers employees options to help them manage life’s demands at work and at home, from confidential counseling to referrals for local services—whether by telephone, with counselors on site or in the communities where they live.

We also engage employee volunteers to help support peers who are seeking to adopt healthier behaviors. For example, our Peer Volunteer Program, in collaboration with union leadership, assists with substance abuse recovery. Additionally, our Wellness Ambassadors—located throughout our service area—assist in implementing and increasing awareness of wellness programs and services.

Financial Health

Distress over financial matters can have a negative effect on health. To assist our employees with managing their financial future and providing for their families should the unthinkable happen, we offer a number of programs and resources, including life and accident insurance, 401(k) and pension retirement plans.

2014 Milestones

In 2014, we continued our efforts to empower employees to make healthier choices and increase participation in the programs and services we offer. Highlights included the following:

  • Reduced health care costs. Since introducing our new health plan in 2013, PG&E has seen a consistent improvement in medical cost trends. Prior to the new plan, medical costs increased at an average of 9 percent annually, above the national average. Since the introduction of the new plan, cost increases are below 3 percent annually, about half the national average.
  • Expanded specialized wellness programs. We expanded our Industrial Athlete Program by bringing in athletic trainers to assess early signs of discomfort, observe body mechanics in the field and promote self-care techniques for employees in physically-demanding jobs. By intervening early, this approach has proven that injuries can be interrupted and even reversed, eliminating the need for costly diagnosis and treatment.
  • Piloted an online physical activity competition. We piloted the Get Active Challenge, which engaged PG&E employees to track their exercise minutes online and compete as teams to achieve health and fitness goals. Over 400 teams participated in this free and easy-to-use program last year. In 2015, we are making the competition available to all benefits-eligible employees to support each other in living a healthier lifestyle.

Measuring Progress

Over the past five years, PG&E has seen a steady decline in employee unavailability due to health issues. The increase in workforce availability from 2013 to 2014 is equal to 133 employees working full time all year, representing nearly $10.8 million in savings.

Workforce Unavailable Due to Health1
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Workforce Unavailable Due to Health 10.7% 10.0% 8.7% 8.2% 7.7%
  • 1 Percentage of full-time employees unavailable for work due to long-term or short-term health reasons.

PG&E’s health plan offers free primary care and preventive services, including health screenings for early detection of serious health risks. As a result, in the first two years after the health plan was implemented, inpatient hospital days were reduced by 11 percent, emergency room visits by 10 percent and specialty office visits by 7 percent.

Looking Ahead

In our multiyear strategy, PG&E remains focused on further improving the health and resilience of our workforce by continuing to:

  • Focus on preventive care and provide financial incentives for employees to make healthier choices
  • Expand innovative pilot initiatives, such as our Industrial Athlete Program
  • Collaborate with union leadership on approaches that reduce the risk of injuries
  • Expand on-site care and access to wellness resources through health coaching and fitness classes
  • Provide Centers of Excellence—hospitals or medical center facilities recognized for providing the highest quality of care for high-risk conditions, such as complex and rare cancers—for PG&E employees and their families that are part of the medical plan
  • Provide access to telemedicine and on-site care via video conferencing technology to ensure employees have access to primary care by a physician or nurse practitioner for early detection, prevention and treatment of chronic conditions
IBI logo

In 2014, the Integrated Benefits Institute, the leading workforce and productivity research and measurement organization, honored PG&E with its Health and Business Performance Award. The award recognizes an employer that has demonstrated outstanding work in the field of health, productivity and business performance.







Economic Vitality