If you've followed this blog you know that Scotts fired one of its lawn care techs this past year because he tested positive for smoking cigarettes. Scotts has a no-smoking policy. And that's no smoking anywhere, not even at your home.
But when it comes to employee health at Scotts, that isn't the half of it. The company, in an effort to control health care costs, has instituted one of the most rigorous (perhaps THE most rigorous) employee "wellness" programs ever attempted by a major U.S. company. Scotts employees apparently can get free memberships to health care facilities, enroll in free weight-loss programs, counseling for stress and depression, you name it. All of this and a $5 million, 24,000-sq.-ft. fitness center with doctors and nurses and personal training (apparently there's a cost to this) across the street from its Marysville, OH, headquarters.
What's not to like about quitting smoking or shedding that winter lard, right? Well, if you don't buy into the program, you have to pay a higher health insurance premium than employees joining the wellness crowd.
Scotts CEO Jim Hagedorn spelled it all out months ago when he showed employees that the company's health-care bill in 2003 consumed 20% of its net profits and they were trending upwards. He's determined to put a stop to that, and apparently other big companies are watching closely for obvious reasons.
A recent article in Business Week magazine about the company's aggressive "get well" campaign, drew a lot of comments from readers. Click here to read what people think of Scotts wellness plan. — Ron Hall