KEEN Re-Energizes Small Businesses with its First Recess Pilot Program
PORTLAND, Ore., May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — KEEN, Inc., the manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual footwear, bags and socks, has launched its first Recess Pilot Program to help small businesses jumpstart Recess to support their wellness goals and provide a forum for sharing the Recess experience. As part of this pilot, KEEN will provide technical support to small businesses, including access to its Instant Recess® Toolkit, a financial grant to the first 10 participants to purchase Recess tools and incentives, a package of Recess “prizes” from KEEN and an introductory webinar to kick Recess off in their workplace. This pilot is part of KEEN’s Recess is Back initiative, bringing recess to adults around the world.
The first four companies that KEEN has selected to bring Recess back to its employees are Chr. Hansen in Milwaukee, Wis.; Minnesota Twist Drill in Chisholm, Minn.; MINDBODY in San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and Summit Publishing in Charlottesville, Va.
Corporate wellness programs can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand per employee. While large companies can afford the type of robust workplace wellness programs that result in improvements in employee health, attendance and productivity, most small businesses miss out on this opportunity due to their limited resources. While small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms (2010 U.S. Census Bureau statistics), only 8% of small worksites offered any wellness activities (National Worksite Health Promotion survey published in 2008). KEEN’s Recess Pilot Program gives small businesses the ability to implement an engaging workplace wellness program at least as effective as those at larger companies; and for those with wellness agendas underway, provides a way to refresh or supplement existing wellness offerings.
“We launched our Recess is Back initiative to help people get away from their desks and disconnect from their electronics for a few minutes every day. We’ve found that reconnecting with playtime during work can re-energize people and encourage employees to be healthy and happy,” said Linda Balfour, KEEN’s Brand Marketing Manager and Chief Recess Officer. “We are providing a model and tools to help even the smallest businesses jump start Recess at the companies we’ve selected, and inspire others around the country to launch their own Recess program!”
“We kicked off Recess is Back earlier this month and have already noticed a very positive vibe throughout the entire facility with people laughing and enjoying themselves – it’s funny how we forget how to play when we grow up!,” said Jeannie Nobens, Human Resources Manager at Minnesota Twist Drill. “Minnesota Twist Drill is already a great place to work and we are fortunate to have an existing wellness program that is 100% supported by management,” she explains. “By partnering with KEEN, we have been given an opportunity and the tools to promote Recess with the ultimate goal of having happy, healthy employees. KEEN’s Recess program has taken our wellness program to a whole new level – and we needed it!”
“Our small business has been looking for a way to energize our employees and make coming to work a more enjoyable experience, so we jumped at the opportunity to follow KEEN’s lead to get our team outside ,” said Blake DeMaso, CEO of Summit Publishing. “We’re using Recess as an opportunity to encourage our employees’ health and fitness goals, and inspire teamwork and healthy lifestyle choices both in and out of the office, while building a healthy work environment and reducing overall stress.”
KEEN launched its Recess is Back initiative in 2011 to encourage working adults around the country to step away from their desk, breathe some fresh air, be active and improve overall health and wellness. As people everywhere are becoming more sedentary and more attached to electronic devices, research from UCLA’s Dr. Toni Yancey, the definitive expert on recess for workplace wellness, has shown that a 10 minute daily break improves productivity, encourages a more engaged workforce, results in fewer sick days and promotes a healthy work-life balance.
Dr. Yancey estimates that this paid activity break actually offers small business and large business alike a return on investment of $1.50 – $2.00 for every dollar spent implementing the program. To help companies implement this program, KEEN created a free Instant Recess Toolkit, which can be downloaded at http://recess.keenfootwear.com/recess-at-work/, providing tips for success, a Recess score card, ideas for daily Recess activities, as well as in-house promotional materials. The Toolkit also contains the first-ever calculator for employers to track the benefits of Recess and compute their return on investment. The free calculator is available at calculator.keenfootwear.com.
For more information on KEEN’s Recess is Back initiative, visit http://www.keenfootwear.com/us/en/recess/.
KEEN Inc., manufacturer of original hybrid footwear, bags and socks was founded in 2003. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, KEEN offers innovative hybrid products that enable outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy an active lifestyle. Known for its innovation and creativity, KEEN started with the invention of the first sandal that protects the toe – the Newport. Since its inception, the company has applied that same problem-solving design approach to expand its footwear collection and offer bags and socks. KEEN offers products that allow people to go anywhere: from trekking the wilds of the world, exploring a cool city, heading to work, or skipping to a playground down the street. KEEN’s products are sold in specialty footwear, travel and outdoor retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains worldwide. In 2010 and 2011, KEEN was named one of “America’s Best Places to Work” by Outside magazine. KEEN strives to demonstrate integrity and leadership while promoting a vibrant, inclusive community. Through its Hybrid.Care giving program, KEEN supports a variety of social and environmental organizations around the globe. Discover more about KEEN at keenfootwear.com, facebook.com/keen and twitter.com/keen.
SOURCE KEEN, Inc.