Goodwill NCW earns Platinum Well Workplace Award

The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), with local affiliate Wellness Council of Wisconsin (WCWI), recently presented its coveted Platinum Well Workplace Award to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW), which employs more than 1,200 team members across 35 counties.

The Platinum Well Workplace Award recognizes an organization for its commitment to the health and well-being of their employees. According to WCWI, the Platinum designation honors organizations that “have distinguished themselves as not only leaders but innovators in workplace health promotion.”

By achieving the Well Workplace Award, Goodwill NCW is honored for its long-lasting commitment to the health and the well-being of its employees. The designation is good for three years.

“We’re extremely proud of our culture of holistic wellness for our team members,” said Chris Hess, Goodwill NCW’s president and chief executive officer. “The commitment to serving the full person has been a critical part of our organization for years, and it will continue to be. It separates Goodwill from other employers.”

Goodwill NCW joins just three other companies in the nation awarded Platinum-level recognition in 2018.

“Good companies know that their employees are their most valuable asset,” WELCOA President Ryan Picarella said. “Great companies adopt policies that support employees’ efforts to reduce health risks and are bold about motivating them through bold strategies, programs and tactics. Great companies know that by improving their employees’ health, they can reduce health care costs.”

Goodwill NCW’s workplace wellness initiatives are a part of its Circles of Care program, which supports a full range of issues that team members might encounter. To that end, the organization employs two full-time health and wellness specialists and a corporate chaplain.

“We take a holistic approach to wellness,” said Jeff Stieg, Goodwill NCW’s senior health and wellness specialist. “We work to support our team members’ overall well-being, whether it’s their physical health, mental health, financial well-being, or career goals. We offer tools and programs that support our team members in each area.

“We support team member well-being in many ways, including running health education programming throughout the year, offering free ongoing wellness coaching during work time, offering a free onsite clinic for team members and offering financial reimbursements for gym memberships and continuous learning. Our on-site chaplain is also available to support mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Wellness is part of our culture here.”

In 2017, Goodwill NCW’s Circles of Care program served 554 team members through health and wellness counseling, 345 team members through emotional and spiritual support, and 324 team members through financial and career counseling.

The organization operates 27 retail store and training centers, plus an Outlet Store, e-commerce operation and logistics hub at the Shiner Center in Appleton. Goodwill NCW’s human services programs served almost 73,000 individuals and families — a one-year organizational record — in 2017.

Here are several examples of how Goodwill NCW cares for its team members:

  • A wellness room for team members is established in each of the retail store facilities and the Shiner Center.
  • A variety of wellness programs and motivational methods are offered during the year, including:
    • GoodWeighs (a 10-week team-based weight-loss and weight maintenance effort)
    • an annual personal wellness assessment and biometrics testing
    • awareness-building displays in our break rooms
    • participation in the National Bike Challenge or Sole Burner Runs
    • a free Team Member Assistance Program
    • individual wellness coaching
    • visits from our interfaith chaplain
    • free oatmeal and tea at all facilities
    • daily GoodMoves pre-shift stretching program and more
  • The organization also offers partial reimbursement to team members for health club/gym memberships, personal training, nutrition education, group fitness classes, fun-run/marathon entry fees and wearable fitness trackers.
  • Team members are also eligible for a lifetime maximum reimbursement of $200 for FDA-approved products and programs that help in quitting tobacco use.
  • A nurse practitioner staffs the GoodCare Clinic at the Shiner Center, providing first-line health care support and access to other health care providers to create personal plans of care.
  • On the career-path and continuing education front, all full-time team members are eligible for tuition reimbursement for higher education, up to $1,500 year for undergraduate certificate programs and up to $2,500 for graduate programs.
  • A Hand-Up Fund that supports team members in a time of great or urgent need. Team Members can contribute to the fund at any time or elect an ongoing payroll deduction. In 2017, 40 team members received an average of $414 for emergency needs.
  • Goodwill University, which creates a culture of servant leadership by providing opportunities for continuous learning and dream discovery.
  • A robust and enhanced Learning Management System, to deliver digital learning, enroll in courses and track and report on completion rates. Educational components can be internal (for training and opportunities within Goodwill) or external.

The impact of this holistic approach on the organization is more than personal. In the past two years (2016-2017), Goodwill NCW’s medical plan costs per team member have trended considerably lower than national benchmarking surveys such as Kaiser and Mercer, with no reduction in benefits or team members enrolled in the plan. In a 2017 Team Member survey, more than 94 percent of team members said that Goodwill cares about their health, and 97 percent said that Goodwill is a safe place to work.

That feedback suggests that a robust wellness program contributes greatly to team morale and team member satisfaction and improves the organization’s results.

The Well Workplace Awards initiative is driven by a rigorous set of criteria outlined in WELCOA’s seven benchmarks to a result-oriented Well Workplace. Since its inception in 1991, over 1,000 organizations, ranging from educational institutions to non-profit and profit sectors have joined the list of “America’s Healthiest Companies” by receiving the Well Workplace Award.

“Goodwill NCW has clearly demonstrated their commitment to protect and enhance the health and well-being of their employees,” said Marissa Kalkman, Wellness Council of Wisconsin’s executive director. “By meeting the standards necessary to achieve the Platinum Well Workplace Award, Goodwill NCW is prioritizing the well-being of their employees as a foundation of their organization’s culture.”

The Wellness Council of Wisconsin was founded in 1985 by nine employers from the Wisconsin business community. With more than 6,000 member organizations located throughout North America, WELCOA is highly recognized and regarded for their innovative and result-oriented approach to worksite wellness.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of 72,937 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at, a women’s apparel website, and It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay, and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit the website at

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