Chipotle Creates a Culture of Well-Being That Mirrors Their Culture of Food.

The Challenge: Create a Culture of Well-Being

In 2010, Chipotle – a restaurant provider of “food with integrity” – wanted to develop a well-being program and change their company culture. The well-being program they were using through their healthcare provider garnered dismal employee participation and engagement. They wanted to build a culture of well-being that matched the culture they had built around food; that is, with integrity and with a program that everybody would believe in and value. This required an innovative, multi-faceted strategy that would:

  1. Increase engagement in the well-being program
  2. Create a culture of happy, healthy, highly productive employees
  3. Reduce lifestyle risk factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and stress
  4. Save on health costs (with national trends as the benchmark)

Together they created a customized program that fit Chipotle’s culture, goals, resources, and incentive design, called Chipotle My Total Well-Being.

The Solution: Develop a Well-Being Strategy that fit with the Business Strategy

Chipotle believed that to truly develop the best program, they needed a partner with expertise in the space just as they sought partners in other benefits that offered experience and solutions for well-being-specific programs. The plan was broken down into three, one-year increments.  Year 1: Employee Education & Awareness Year 2: Employee Participation & Engagement Year 3: Results-Based Well-Being When building out the well-being framework, they implemented three best practices: Visible senior leadership support, creative and meaningful incentive design, and effective communications. Each year the program is in place, more and more employees are signing up, engaging in well-being challenges, and getting healthier results—plus their incentive dollars can add up to $1,400 off their medical premiums annually if they and their spouse participate. Employees can earn additional well-being points by joining challenges, setting goals, and attending workshops, all of which result in not only feeling better but having more energy. Employees can also win Chipotle Well-Being gear, and relevant well-being incentives such as Fitbits. The most effective and engaging challenge thus far has been the Fitness Rally, which is now an annual event with strong leadership engagement, support, and participation. It is not uncommon to see leaders encouraging employees to hold walking meetings or to take the stairs instead of the elevator. In 2012, 2013, and again in 2014, Chipotle’s My Total Well-Being program continues to function as a key component of leadership; executives discuss the program’s highlights and social challenges, as well as the success of participants at the biannual all managers’ conference.

The Results: Chipotle has increased participation dramatically in their well-being program over the past three years.

Biometric screening completion increased by 333%, assessment completion increased by 166%, and engagement in programs resulting in earning incentives increased by 62%. The most impressive results to date showed a nearly zero trend in weight gain over the past three years, even with an increase in participation. The next three years of this strategic approach are now focused on embedding well-being as an integral element of Chipotle’s culture. Year 4: Will focus on instituting best practices and creating the framework to support well-being as a business strategy. Year 5: Will focus on solidifying the culture of well-being, and supporting the cultural changes to ensure well-being becomes the social norm. Year 6: Will focus on results, engagement, and sustainable culture change with a goal to have more than 50% of all employees involved in well-being.

Chipotle has been able to keep their healthcare costs below industry standard, at about a 1% increase.

In Biometric Screening Completion

In Assessment Completion

In Engagement In Programs Resulting In Earning Incentives

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