2010 Diversity Annual Report
Embraced: Teleworkers ERG helps to pioneer Aetna’s virtual wellness initiative
For customers and employees alike, Aetna has been a leader in inspiring healthy behaviors, whether through product designs, targeted programs, or even on-site fitness centers for staff. And with 45% of Aetna’s employees teleworking the company is exploring high-tech approaches to fitness with help from one of Aetna’s leading employee resource groups (ERGs).
“Our members are helping Aetna to get [teleworking] right. We’re the ideal group to identify ‘pain points’ that get in the way of success, and to test whether policies or programs are working.”
Cyndee Ward, Leader of Aetna’s Teleworkers ERG
In 2010, members of the 6,000-strong Telework Community Network (TCN) enthusiastically participated in Aetna’s Virtual Wellness and Online Training pilot, which uses technology to bridge the distance between fitness instructors and employees. The teleworkers were linked via videoconferencing with a fitness instructor in Hartford who provided both written exercise programs and one-on-one training – often from hundreds of miles away. TCN members offered invaluable suggestions for refining the approach, an important step as the company considers how to package virtual wellness as a service for plan sponsors.
Cyndee Ward, a teleworking business continuity consultant, has led TCN for the past three years. She and other TCN members have been instrumental in helping Aetna adopt better methods for selecting, motivating and equipping teleworkers for success. TCN shares best practices via an online database and publishes a regular newsletter with a particular focus on wellness and good nutrition. In 2010, Ward was the recipient of the Aetna Way Gold Award for Diversity, in recognition of her work in advancing teleworkers’ success across the country.