As St. Louis-based Cornerstone Insurance has demonstrated, doing wellness well gives broker’s a competitive edge and can help clients transform their companies. “Foreseeing the importance of wellness early on, Cornerstone hired its own full-time wellness director and set out not just to offer wellness programming as a value-add to its mostly Midwestern clients,” wrote Melissa A. Winn for Employee Benefit Adviser, “but also to serve as a regional poster child for how a commitment to wellness can transform a company.”


It’s paid off, too. Take its client, Lohr Distributorship Co., as an example. Lohr chose Cornerstone strictly for its wellness offerings. “After discussions with the agency, Lohr decided to use Cornerstone for its other insurance and HR outsourcing needs as well,” Winn wrote. “In addition to wellness and benefits administration, the agency handles Lohr’s new hire enrollments and reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act.”


Here are three ways to follow Cornerstone’s example:


Create Feasible Wellness Plans

“Part of Cornerstone’s success stems from its understanding that, when it comes to wellness, one size doesn’t fit all,” Winn wrote. Cornerstone’s wellness director evaluates each client’s culture and creates programs to fit its needs. She also keeps in mind the size of the employer. This is key, wrote Tomer Ben-Kiki for Employee Benefit Adviser.

“Every organization is unique in its culture, and what fits one does not necessarily fit the other,” he wrote. “Make sure you understand the types of issues your team is interested in ahead of an initiative, and collect feedback following its deployment.”


Create a Calendar

Cornerstone creates year-round programs for clients, with different quarters emphasizing nutrition, fitness, life balance, and prevention. Having a schedule can make all the difference, Ben-Kiki wrote. “By better understanding how to keep employees engaged throughout the year, benefits managers can channel the excitement around a New Year’s resolution to achieve their corporate wellness goal, into a year-long emotional wellness program that can truly make a difference in the lives of individuals and the organization as a whole,” he wrote.


Emphasize Value-On-Investment

Cornerstone uses this concept to help clients understand why wellness is important. Measures of value include “employee engagement, turnover, absenteeism, productivity, and recruitment and referral rates,” Winn wrote. “This is another area where integrated digital tools, with their real-time dashboards and ability to analyze trends, can be instrumental,” Ben-Kiki wrote.


In addition, the service is truly value-added for Cornerstone’s clients: Its wellness director “consults and designs programs for Cornerstone clients free of charge, but the client must cover the costs of undertaking the program, including prizes, equipment, and services such as biometric screenings.”