60 THE POWER OF POSSIBILITY NISC | 50 YEARS OF INNOVATION AND MEMBER SERVICE WALKING FOR WELLNESS BUILDS ‘HEALTH CHAMPIONS’ Employees walk the halls at NISC. They stride past conference rooms named after famous inventors, they pad quietly beside cubicles and patter down the stairs. They reach the outermost offices then simply loop back again with a brisk sense of purpose. They might be thinking about a line of code or a Member call or a new sales prospect. But chances are they have another number in mind, as well: 5,000 steps. Hit that daily number on your NISC-provided FitBit and you can gain extra wellness points. Attain 10,000 or 15,000 steps and receive even more points. Earn enough points in a year and you receive extra dollars in a Health Savings Account. Just one long loop through the hallways in Mandan or Lake Saint Louis equals a half-mile. A few of those laps will put you well on your way to your goal. A focus on wellness has brought NISC national recognition. In 2015, a national health analytics firm ranked NISC No. 78 out of the nation’s 100 healthiest workplaces. In 2016, the American Diabetes Association named NISC a Health Champion, and the American Heart Association gave NISC gold-level recognition as a Fit Friendly workplace. In 2015 and 2016, the St. Louis Business Journal honored NISC as one of five Healthiest Employers in the region. Promoting wellness has many benefits. It boosts health, reduces stress and brings a vibrant energy and even competitive spirit to the offices. Employees can work out in a fitness room during lunch, check out a bicycle, join an exercise class or hold a walking meeting on the outdoor trails. NISC sponsors annual health fairs and health screenings, with cholesterol checks, mammograms and flu shots. An employee-run Wellness Committee hosts nutritionists and other experts at lunch-and-learn events and rallies employees to join group activities. (The quest to win an NISC Ping-Pong tournament can become pretty fierce — and, after all, Ping-Pong is an Olympic sport.) About two-thirds of NISC employees completed health screenings in 2016, and almost 90 percent participated in some type of wellness activity. More than one-third reached platinum, the highest level of earning wellness points. But the greatest reward accrues to the employees. Joe Cordeal, a 35-year-old Requirements Analyst, always considered himself to be fairly healthy — although he hadn’t been to a doctor in years. He went to an NISC health screening and realized that being overweight was a serious “Our Members provided the seed money,” says Dosch. “We knew we couldn’t disappoint them.” CADP and NCDC employees were now on the same team — but they hardly knew each other. In addition to software developers, the designers included people involved in software implementation, Member support and quality assurance. To help them bond, Wilbanks took the team to the St. Louis Zoo and to the famous Gateway Arch, a memorial to Thomas Jefferson and westward expansion that soars 63 stories above the Mississippi River. Each leg of the arch was built from triangular sections, tapering as it grew higher. If the engineers or builders were off even a little, the two legs would not have met in the middle. And with workers perched at great heights with no nets, the insurance company projected that as many as 13 men would die in the effort.