National Flavors finds the key ingredients for workplace success

STORY 269 MAGAZINE

What could be more rewarding, or more delicious, than creating the latest flavor of ice cream? The experts at National Flavors aim to do just that by blending enticing essences that go into everything from baked goods to confections. Similarly, as an organization, National Flavors has been able to perfect its recipe for wellness in the workplace. “Continuous improvement is a big deal here. Anytime we have something that we think we can make better, we own it together and changes happens fast,” says Katie Harmon, quality control supervisor.

Taking an extra step to promote physical wellbeing, National Flavors has initiated several unique programs. For example, team members gather twice daily for community stretching exercises. Upbeat music plays through the corridors as everyone has an opportunity to get out from behind their desks to gather for a much-needed break. This tradition brings the team together as they get to have a laugh, shake off any their stress, and move together as one.

Each employee is also encouraged to track their physical activities in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles both in and out of the workplace. “We have developed a program where we earn points based on activities that we do each day. For instance, we get points for the steps we take. There is a list of activities that we can perform like mowing the lawn and playing soccer. Then we get rewards like gas gift cards or Natural Flavor swag when we collect enough points,” says marketing coordinator Kayla VandeBunte.

While physical wellness programs keep everyone’s heart rate up, various community gatherings help bolster mental and emotional wellbeing. Team members take advantage of the summer sun while it lasts and bring beanbags out to the parking lot for weekly Friday cookouts. These events lead up to the annual chili cookoff where competition is particularly fierce. At a company where most have extremely refined palates, the trophy is highly coveted. “We all look forward to the cookoff because you get to see everybody’s flair and unique talent. We have a lot of good cooks around here,” says Harmon. These combined initiatives keep workers at National Flavors feeling fulfilled and whole, both mentally and physically, ensuring employees can “cook up” the scrumptious flavors they are best known for.

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