Principal Top 10: Go for Physical and Financial Fitness

January 29, 2008 ( - If the annual Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security - 2007 competition carries a lesson, it is that the most successful employers look after both their employees' physical and financial security.

The 10 winners all enjoyed fiscal fitness by doing just that, Principal says in its Tuesday release of The Formula for Success, the latest best practices summary of the financial services firm’s 2007 competition, according to a Principal news announcement (See Principal Releases Top 10 Company List ).

“The winning companies say the key is more personalized help – such as one-on-one health coaches and workplace financial guidance – that provides physical and financial fitness for their employees and bottom line benefits for the company,” Principal said in the announcement.

The winners say their investments in employee benefits pay off – especially when it comes to attracting and retaining top employees. The winners have turnover rates significantly lower than others in their industries, with an average annual voluntary turnover rate of 7.7%, compared to the national average of 21.6%, the announcement said.

Renee Schaaf, vice president, the Principal Financial Group, said the combination of both financial and physical fitness is important. “The Principal 10 Best Companies help their employees achieve financial fitness by providing the benefits and the education employees need to feel secure about their financial futures,” Schaaf said. “At the same time, a growing emphasis on physical fitness improves employees’ quality of life and helps prevent costly illnesses. Wellness screenings at these companies caught high cholesterol, diabetes, and prostate cancer – including that of one winning company’s CEO.”

In the case of one winner, Badger Mining, the company started its worksite wellness program 10 years ago. Since then, the program has evolved to include annual health risk appraisals for associates and spouses, financial incentives, health monitoring, and one-on-one guidance from a health coach. With 90% participation, the company came in under budget on its health expenses last year.

“In our health plan, we emphasize preventative care,” said Beth Nighbor, associate development leader at Badger Mining Corporation, in the Principal news release. “We want to catch those little things before they become major issues and major costs. We need to keep our associates healthy so they can retire from here in a good position physically and financially.”

The Principal 10 Best CompaniesBadger Mining Corporation, Berlin, Wisconsin; Business Roundtable, Washington, D.C.; Cobb Strecker Dunphy & Zimmermann, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota; LMI, McLean, Virginia; National Futures Association, Chicago, Illinois; Placid Refining Company, LLC, Dallas, Texas; PMSLIC Insurance Company, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; ProAssurance Corporation, Birmingham, Alabama; Society Insurance, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; and The Surplus Line Association of California, San Francisco, California.

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