GENENTECH (10,890 employees)
South San Francisco
From the moment you walk onto the grounds, the Genentech headquarters feels like a bucolic college campus, complete with employees bicycling between the company’s buildings. And like any good college, it also has a grand legacy. Rumor has it that the Genentech campus, with its concierge services and its weekly Friday afternoon party, was the inspiration for other employee-friendly companies in the Silicon Valley to start creating workplaces that emphasize fitness and happiness. Genentech is also an innovator when it comes to healthy dining, employing a team of nutritionists who are constantly working to refine the quality and healthiness of the gourmet fare offered to workers each day.
AMERICAN SPECIALTY HEALTH (600 employees)
You’d expect that a company known for designing corporate wellness programs would get it right when it comes to a healthy workplace. American Specialty does not disappoint. Think of its wellness program as a model of what can be done at any company. ASH headquarters is a junk-food-free zone. Two years ago the company removed all junk food from vending machines, replacing the contents with healthy snacks, including dried fruits, nuts, and whole-grain energy bars. Complimentary fresh fruit is always available, and employees can opt to sit on Swiss balls at their computers (improving their posture and core strength while they work). An exercise rewards system provides cash back for working out, either in the on-site gym or at an outside facility. A team of registered dietitians, nurses, and certified fitness trainers serve as telephone-based health coaches to create personalized healthy-living plans for employees. And each year, the employee who makes the biggest overall lifestyle and health improvements even wins an award for his or her efforts.
AMERICAN CAST IRON PIPE COMPANY (3,000 employees)
If you think it’s hard to keep office workers fit, just try it in a factory: Two-thirds of the employees working for this family-owned plumbing-supply manufacturer are plant workers. Yet despite having strenuous physical jobs, they still find plenty of time for fitness. One possible reason: ACIPCO has an extensive incentive program that encourages working out, better nutrition, and healthy living. The company is also trying to slim down together. Its yearly Belly Busters competition pits about 30 teams against each other to shed pounds. During the holiday season, members make it a goal to maintain weight rather than gain it, doing weekly team weigh-ins to ensure that everyone stays on track. In the program’s first year, 90 people lost a collective 300 pounds. This year, 120 employees signed up. The company’s wellness-center programs are also available to employees’ families, and employees can continue with them after retirement.