Employer profile: Portland attorneys Greene & Markley, P.C., do wellness right

Jill Blitz, marketing and public relations director, who supports Greene & Markley, P.C., had the chance to share a success story this March, and what a conversation it was: inspiring, in large part due to a senior leader. That's one important aspect of what health and wellness consultants say it takes – senior leaders who walk the talk. Read about Greene & Markley's wellness success story.

A few years ago, S. Ward Greene, managing partner for Greene & Markley, observed something: many of his employees were noticeably absent. He considered who was more absent than others, and found that the employees who missed the most hours – even days – from work were tobacco users.

Mr. Greene did much more than observe. He reflected, planned and acted. He introduced an incentive-based tobacco cessation program – nothing terribly formal, nothing punitive (in fact quite the opposite) and nothing insurmountable. It was a program that put real money on the line. Mr. Greene gave employees who quit the habit – and stayed committed for certain period of time – $1,000. Plus employees who participated and succeeded were honored with an all-staff celebration on their one-year tobacco-free anniversary. Money (incentives) and recognition are two more components in a successful wellness program.

One thousand dollars may sound like a large amount of money, and of course it is. But perhaps it made the difference for individual commitment and eventual success. For Greene & Markley, though, the money was well spent. The number of sick days decreased significantly. And the ROI, while not statistically quantifiable at this point, is anecdotally measurable. Those employees who most often missed work are now more present. This makes a real difference for an organization where the bottom line relies on billing time in six-minute increments.

Success has lasted

Jill is not aware of any employee who has gone back to smoking after receiving the $1,000 incentive. If an employee does slip, though – which happens – the environment is encouraging: Just try again. A supportive culture is another important feature of a successful wellness program.

Key learnings from Greene & Markley's story:

If your organization is considering introducing a wellness program at work, leverage these key learnings from Greene & Markley's success:

  • Any employer can do it
  • Get the senior leadership behind the program
  • Reward and recognize
  • It doesn't have to cost much
  • Make it easy to implement

About Greene & Markley, P.C.

Greene & Markley, P.C. is one of the top commercial law firms in the Portland, Oregon region. For over a quarter of a century, they have provided exceptional legal services to individuals, businesses, banks, lenders, and financial institutions throughout the Pacific Northwest in a range of areas, including complex bankruptc, creditors' rights, commercial litigation, appellate litigation, real estate, and tax controversy.

At Greene & Markley, they pride themselves on offering representation that is better, faster, and cheaper than that of our competitors. Several of their attorneys have been awarded Martindale Hubbell's coveted "AV" peer rating, indicating preeminent legal ability and the highest ethical standards. Firm founding partners S. Ward Greene, Charles R. Markley, and David A. Foraker have been selected for inclusion to Oregon Super Lawyers, a listing of the top five percent of attorneys in the state, as chosen by their peers and through the research of Thomson Reuters, Legal division.

For a team of attorneys who can provide legal representation that is better, faster, and at a reasonable cost, contact Greene & Markley today.

Providence Health Plan can help you implement work-site wellness programs. If you're looking to start a tobacco-free program at work, take a look at the smoking-cessation resources.