SAS INSTITUTE (10,000 employees)
Designing computer-program languages can be dry. Perhaps that’s why this privately owned company does everything it can to keep its workers happy. For starters, the company’s headquarters offers a 58,000-square-foot fitness center equipped with a full weight room, Nautilus equipment, cardio and aerobics rooms, racquetball courts, a swimming pool, and pool tables. Outside, the campus also houses soccer, softball, and Frisbee fields; tennis courts; jogging and biking trails (where the company hosts its own version of Tour de France, dubbed the Tour de SAS); plus a putting green, a track, and horseshoe pits. For participating in one of the company’s many fitness programs, employees can earn gifts ranging from exercise equipment to movie passes— ensuring that some 70% of the SAS workforce uses the fitness center regularly. The company also sponsors employee whitewater- rafting trips, a fishing rodeo, a golf tourney, and ski trips (to get slope-ready, there’s on-site ski conditioning and ski-training workshops at lunchtime). If that weren’t enough, break rooms are always well-stocked with snacks, and the company is well-known for perks like “Free Fruit Mondays,” “M&M Wednesdays,” and “Free Breakfast Fridays.”
FOWLER WHITE BOGGS BANKER (600 employees)
After the American Heart Association challenged corporate America to get its employees moving, company-sponsored walking programs became all the rage. But the law firm of Fowler White Boggs Banker took things a step further—several steps, in fact. First, it armed each employee with a custom-built pedometer emblazoned with the firm’s name. Then, it challenged them to take at least 1,084 steps every day (one for each of the miles between the firm’s eight Florida offices). Today, more than half of the company’s employees are participating in its Start! Walking program, with each office competing to outstep the other.
ASTRAZENECA (13,000 U.S. employees)
Inspired to make a beneficial change in its employees’ lives, this pharmaceutical giant decided to roll out a unique incentive program. Workers can earn points for everything from going to the gym to attending online health seminars on topics such as stress management, nutrition, and fitness. Those points can then be used for running shoes and treadmills—even massage chairs, plasma TVs, and vacation packages. So far, an impressive 65% of employees have enrolled in the program. To ensure that fitness stays a part of the workday, the company also recently created indoor walking paths throughout its mile-long headquarters, so employees can still get power walks in during inclement weather. “We are now a company where you see everyone in running shoes,” says executive health and safety director Joe Henry. Next up: Having already revamped vending machines to include more healthy food choices, the company is working on the cafeteria, trying to draft a sliding price scale for food, with the healthiest options also being the cheapest (a salad, for instance, would cost less than that bacon cheeseburger and fries).