Investing in holistic employee wellbeing solutions is a key component of FCP Euro’s success strategy

To help employees manage the stress of explosive growth, online automotive parts retailer FCP Euro chose WellSpark Health to help build a culture of wellbeing.

Headquartered in Milford, Conn., FCP Euro is an online automotive parts retailer specializing in replacement parts for European vehicles. The company’s online catalog features more than 200,000 unique SKUs of genuine, OE, and OEM parts for European makes including BMW, Volvo Audi, VW, Porsche, and Mercedes. The company is experiencing impressive growth and has landed on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies in America list for seven consecutive years. In the past year, FCP Euro has grown from 172 employees to 261 as revenue growth remains strong. Annual revenue surpassed $100 million in 2020 and on track to cross $200 million in late 2022.  

This growth, while always welcome, helped drive the company’s decision to make wellbeing a priority and for FCP Euro to choose WellSpark Health to be their wellbeing solutions provider. “The pace often requires our employees to constantly adapt and the internal capacity we have to support the growth can be stressful for employees,” explained FCP Euro’s VP of Human Resources Peter Tingus. “It becomes critical to ensure mental health support and psychological safety are priorities when continuously improving processes and adding talent. That is another reason we wanted a wellness program to be there as a resource.”

Tingus said “What made FCP Euro connect with WellSpark was the ability to create a custom program that was truly focused on aligning to our employees’ individual needs.” FCP Euro’s wellbeing program — Not All Parts Can Be Replaced — is an example of how the WellSpark team, with a consultative account manager, has worked collaboratively with FCP Euro to build something designed specifically for them and their employees. “The Not All Parts Can Be Replaced program has become a way for us to engage with our teammates and build the program together. It taps into our entrepreneurial spirit while ensuring we keep the bespoke-feeling of our culture as we rapidly add talent,” Tingus explained.

FCP Euro is fully committed to making employee wellbeing part of the company’s culture. “We are a caring, purpose-driven culture and we leaned in on that,” Tingus said. “We made the investment and hired a Wellness Manager to drive the program. We invested in someone who is accountable for aligning our efforts and outlining a five-year plan which I’m proud to say we are chipping away at those milestones.”

Tingus is clear that not every wellness program out there would have been so successful with FCP Euro’s employees. “As engaged as our community is, they would let us know if we missed the mark. A big reason we are getting such high participation rates is due to the partnership we found in WellSpark,” Tingus said. “The WellSpark team has met us with equal quality, rigor and ownership. Picking the right partner was key. Everyone WellSpark has brought to the table has been excellent. Brainstorming with the team, the structure around the coaching, the boutique white-glove service from a person who gets to know our culture has been key. Last but not least, the vastness of the library of resources…not all of it is for everyone, but there is something for everything.”

Accessible

From the beginning, it was important to FCP Euro to have a solution that was easy for employees to access. “Speed to solution was very critical to us,” Tingus said. Through Wellspark’s resources, FCP Euro managers have access to tools that can help them intervene when an employee needs help. The company also uses the WellSpark Health Coach Educator as a way to help the employee find the next step. “It was important for us to have a solution that included a human being that our employees could talk to and who could help them navigate through the personal challenges they may be facing,” Tingus explained.

FCP Euro also acknowledges that managing people can be stressful and that each manager is going through their own personal journey. “I think our managers are getting better at taking care of themselves and their people and are now engaging in conversations they were afraid to prior to us investing in this program,” Tingus shared.

Truly a group effort

A joint effort between WellSpark and a wide group of FCP Euro employees resulted in the branding slogan and design for the FCP Euro wellbeing program — Not All Parts Can Be Replaced. What has impressed WellSpark Account Manager Kristen Bell the most in working with FCP Euro is the involvement of the company’s employees from the very beginning. “We had close to 50% of the leaders registered on the platform within the first 60 days. Having the company’s leaders utilizing the WellSpark resources and passing their experiences along to other employees was really important,” Bell said. Now, 72% of FCP Euro’s leadership team is registered on WellSpark’s MySpark Central platform.

FCP Euro Wellness Manager Nicole Batista credits a lot of the success of their wellbeing program thus far to the communication tactics about the program which is something Batista works closely on with FCP Euro employees and Bell. After the strategy is determined, it’s not just Batista talking about wellbeing, the topic of wellbeing is touched on in many settings by employees from all departments and leadership levels. Batista believes FCP Euro has done a good job of making it a shared value as a company which has had an important impact on their company culture and allowed employees to embrace and engage in the program.

The wellbeing programs at FCP Euro such as quarterly wellness challenges have also brought together people from different departments and helped them understand each other’s roles better. “I think getting people to talk with people they don’t usually work with on a regular basis and understanding what other departments’ days look like has had an important impact on our culture,” Batista said. 

Genuine interest in helping

Chief Growth and Operations Officer for WellSpark, Andi Campbell, believes an authentic interest in people’s wellbeing throughout all levels of the FCP Euro organization has been an important factor to the program’s success. “It’s not a check the box effort to just say you have a wellness program. It’s a real genuine authentic interest in helping to improve the wellbeing of the people in your organization,” Campbell said. “It’s not a budget-driven decision, it’s a real drive toward improving the wellbeing of your populations.”

Tingus agrees with that 100%. “No one has ever asked what the budget is on the coaching sessions. Behind the scenes I have a coaching budget but if we exceed that we’ll figure it out. I’ll do less of something else and then I’ll budget more next year. We really do care about the people who come in through the door and we’re trying to be good role models and stewards of the program.”

What it means to take a life-dimensional approach to wellbeing

No one would argue that what makes someone a person is complex.

It includes things like their career, hobbies, roles within their family unit, and roles within the larger community. But when it comes to health, too often there’s a push to go with a simple biological answer.

But there is nothing simple about a person’s ability to get and stay well. It’s tied to everything from where they live and their ability to get fresh food from a grocery store to the emotional toll of caring for an elderly parent. Job, community, family, and emotional health all impact a person’s ability to achieve health. Which is why focusing only on the person’s physical condition is problematic: how can you add more outdoor exercise to your daily routine if you live in a neighborhood that’s unsafe?

This is why, unlike traditional offerings, we take a life-dimensional approach.

WellSpark was built to address the needs of the modern workforce, specifically those groups with economically diverse, multicultural, long-tenured employee populations who struggle with their health. For us, it’s about understanding each person as the sum of everything in their life—the biological, psychological, and social factors that intersect and determine their health.

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WellSpark’s life-dimensional approach gets to the heart of health challenges.

WellSpark’s life-dimensional approach gets to the heart of health challenges.

This approach peels back the layers to see how everything connects in a way that leads to meaningful change. That means personalized guidance, working with each person to understand what behaviors or changes to their routine a person is willing and able to make. It also means applying cultural competency—understanding how a person’s background shapes their behaviors and beliefs then adapting our guidance to reflect them. And it means thinking about how we can build on small victories to achieve lasting health over time.

But beyond any of that, our life-dimensional approach is often the first time in a long time (or ever) that someone is tasked with improving their health has taken the time to really understand them as a human being. It’s how we build trust so we can ask the harder questions. We know that asking someone to change isn’t an easy conversation, but neither is being the one told to change. But, by starting from a place of compassion and of collaboration, without judgment, our participants know we’re going to be there every step of the way. With support and personalized direction, they build self-management skills, establish healthier behaviors, and learn how to achieve a more enduring well.

WellSpark’s Commitment to Cultural Competency – Understanding Workplace Culture and Beyond

An employee struggling with their health isn’t just a person with a weight problem or a diabetes diagnosis.

Factors like support systems, mental health issues, socioeconomic struggles, and cultural differences, to mention a few, can seriously affect someone’s health. A lot of wellness programs ignore these factors that make up the totality of a person’s life. They may try to fit people into a one-size-fits-all box. But we know this isn’t the best way to go about making lifestyle changes that last, in this case, for everyone.

Everyone, and every job, has a different culture. With culture comes unique languages, diets, schedules, environments, beliefs, and general practices. So, when wellness programs introduce a ‘one size fits all’ program for a workforce, how do we expect these programs to succeed for everyone? Everyone’s health is their own. It’s personal. Every program designed to help people get and stay on a healthy path needs to connect with each individual’s life.

At WellSpark, we believe that to engage people in health programs, you must make the program relevant to that person’s culture and life. Nutrition education needs to be about what people eat in their everyday life, not just lessons about the standard programming of the western American diet. Typical exercise and activity programming needs to be more than going to a gym. It could include things like dancing with your extended family after a holiday meal. And while you might conjure up thoughts of a holiday meal served on plates, at a table gathering, with everyone conversing, for others, it might look different – served in a communal bowl, sitting on the floor, with minimal conversation – creating a connection to one’s culture.

What is culture? When we think about the culture of a workforce at Wellspark, we go beyond what, when, and how employees may eat or exercise. We think about culture in terms of the workplace, the workday, and the actual work itself. Is it conducive to living a healthy lifestyle? Does the work itself make a person sick? Is the work sedentary? Does it impact a person’s sleep patterns? Is it lonely?

The physical workplace also factors into our cultural programming. What if you don’t work in an office? What if you are in a delivery truck, on a shop floor, or working the night shift doing patient care? Programs must be relevant to a person’s life AND accessible during the day to fit a person’s lifestyle. At WellSpark, we’re focused on reaching these economically diverse, multicultural, hard-to-reach populations. WellSpark is committed to the cause of developing culturally relevant and accessible health programs to connect with a culturally diverse workforce. Given these statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health:

  • 42% of Black or African American adults have hypertension
  • 22% of Hispanic Americans over the age of 20 have diabetes
  • Indigenous Americans have the highest rate of cigarette smoking compared to all racial/ethnic groups in America
  • Asian Americans are 40% more likely to have diabetes compared to non-Hispanic White Americans

WellSpark connects programs with the people we are endeavoring to serve.

How Employers Can Provide Effective Leadership & Take Care of Their Workforce During COVID-19

Proactive Tips Employers Can Take to Keep Employee Morale and Engagement Up During the Crisis.

Whether you’re the owner of a mom-and-pop shop or a decision-maker at a larger company, it’s important to know the different structures for group health insurance plans. Knowing these differences can help you and your business find a plan that works best for your employees and your bottom line.

By now, most of the workforce has shifted to working remotely from home during the pandemic. This change can cause serious declines in employee productivity, engagement and overall team performance. Gallup has found that universally employees look to leaders for trust, compassion, stability, and hope. These needs are especially needed during a crisis such as COVID-19. It’s crucial for employers to maintain and strengthen employee communications to bolster morale and continue to provide effective leadership. Just as business operations have been severely impacted so has your workforce. Employers can continue to maintain a company culture of positivity and productivity through weekly check-ins digitally and telephonically sharing events and uplifting stories. Keeping your office culture intact, helping to keep employee morale up and easing mental and financial strains are just a few ways to reduce stress for you employees.

Here are some proactive tips employers can take to improve overall team performance during COVID-19:

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Have a plan.
Make sure employees have access to the materials and equipment they need to do their jobs from home. Technology and communication provide the stability employees need.1

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Set “office hours.”
Designate specific working hours. For example, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00p.m.

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Communicate Expectations Early.
Communicate the level of communication you are expecting from your employees. Set guidelines on responsiveness and preferred method of communication.2 If your office hours are 9-5, employees should be available for meetings and working during the allotted hours. It is also important to communicate the expectations of your employees. For example, we are working on “X,” “Y” is needed, and the deadline is “Z”.3

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Engage Regularly.
Established regular check-ins with your team. Each employee is different, take time to understand how often your employees need you to check-in with them.

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Remind them of the resources available to them.
It is especially important during this time to remind employees of the resources available to them. Employees will want to know that the organization cares about their well-being during a crisis. Especially during these uncertain times.4 For example:

  • Do your best to provide useful information about COVID-19.
  • Work policies, such as paid time off and leave.
  • Connect with your organizations health plan to see what they are doing for your employees and communicate that.
  • Telehealth
  • TalkSpace
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  • WellSpark resources such as Coping During COVID-19 content videos available in our Health Video Library.
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Take advantage of technology.
Use technology to build and maintain a community with your employees Use a web bases video conference services such as Zoom to host virtual celebrations. For example, birthdays or team victories. This allows teams to connect “face-to-face.”

Heart Hand Empathy

Show empathy and be available.5
During this time employees may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Let your staff know you are to them to talk about fears, to answer questions and to reassure them about work and other issues that might come up when working remotely.


References

[1] Gallup. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/304607/remember-needs-followers-during-covid.aspx

[2] Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/05/30/top-15-tips-to-effectively-manage-remote-employees/#1e2266e6503c

[3] Gallup. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/288956/covid-teams-working-remotely-guide-leaders.aspx

[4] Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2020/03/22/how-to-help-employees-cope-with-covid-19/#452acd584cbd

[5] American Psychiatric Association. http://www.workplacementalhealth.org/Employer-Resources/Working-Remotely-During-COVID-19

How WellSpark Health is Addressing the Coronavirus with our Loyal Customers & Partners

We’re dedicated to Supporting Our Customers & Partners at this Critical Time of COVID-19 Outbreak.

Every day our mission is the same. To tackle the fight against chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension so our members can live better and make healthier lifestyle choices. Today, in these surreal times while the world is facing the Coronavirus pandemic, WellSpark Health remains dedicated to supporting our customers and partners who like us are at great risk of becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19. We want to let you know our commitment is to you at this time. You have our support at this critical time in our nation’s health.

The WellSpark Health COVID-19 Response Plan

Here are just a few steps we are taking to support our customers and partners:

Online and Telephonic Health Coaching
Providing online and telephonic health coaching in Connecticut and New York, now with COVID-19 guidance, advice, and grief counseling. WellSpark coaches help to manage diet, exercise, sleep, pain, and stress, while WellSpark nurses provide disease management strategies for those with chronic conditions. However, both coaches and nurses noticed their normal education and coaching sessions got interrupted due to a greater need in COVID-19 related issues. Nurses and coaches are now assisting members by sharing relevant information to help them better understand COVID-19. Members are also learning how to cope with grief and loss and how to encourage self-care, all while continuing to support those managing a chronic condition such as diabetes. WellSpark is also taking care of its members and employees by offering a variety of helpful resources such as eMindful, a mindfulness app for managing mental health, and video content on how to cope during this difficult time.

Worksite Health & Employee Safety Precautions
We look to the CDC for guidance and their current recommendations to protect our employees’ health and safety in these unpresented times. We continue to operate remotely for the time-being. Our team of medical doctors, coaches and nurses along with the WellSpark administrative staff is still available to you at normally scheduled business days and working hours. Our business operations efficiently allow us to work via online or telephonically.

Constant Participant Communications & Engagement
We are in constant communication and engagement with our customers and partners by providing relevant and important up-to-date information. Our team of medical doctors, coaches and nurses continue to support participants either digitally or telephonically with questions they may have. Our participants health and well-ness journey continue to be our priority.

Product & Services Availability
We do not anticipate having any delays, shortages or issues with our portfolio of well-being products and services. Spark Life Worksite Wellness, Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and Help 364 Chronic Care Self-Management are still in use by program participants. Medical advice, mentorship and lifestyle coaching are still available to participants telephonically or digitally.

Maintaining a Company Culture of Positivity and Productivity
COVID-19 had us rapidly shift to the way we traditionally work with staff having to work for the first time both at home, and physically separated. While our initial focus will be maintaining our customers and partners, it’s also critically important that we support our staff that have been impacted. We continue to maintain a company culture of positivity and productivity through weekly check-ins digitally and telephonically sharing events and uplifting stories.

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