It was Virgil who famously said “The greatest wealth is health,” and with the spike in employee health and wellness offerings it seems that many employers agree. One such employer is Carnival Cruise Line. The well-known cruise line took their wellness programs up a notch in May 2014, when they partnered with Marathon Health to open the Carnival Care Center: an onsite clinic and wellness center for employees at their Miami, Fla. Headquarters.“[The medical center] was an expression of Carnival’s commitment to wellness and really increasing the onsite offerings we have at Carnival. We believe that we are a great place to work, and that helps us lean into so many other levers, and things that we can be doing for our employees to further that journey towards being a great place to work,” says Ron Phillips, Carnival Cruise Lines’ head of HR and chief people officer.
The 1,100-square-foot facility helps Carnival care for its more than 3,000 shoreside employees, not only through medical treatment for non-emergency illnesses and injuries, but also preventative care, health consultation services, and the management of chronic conditions.
Although the Carnival Care Center opened just three years ago, it aligns with larger organizational values that Carnival has held from the very beginning. Delivering exceptional experiences is part of the organization’s mission statement, and this applies to employees as well as guests. According to Phillips, employees have responded so well to the onsite offerings that Carnival has had to do very little in terms of advertising the center to potential hires—the employees act as wellness program ambassadors and spread the word on their own.
“The feedback [from employees] has been overwhelming … I hear about it from our employees, and my own experience with wellness through the center has been pretty remarkable,” Phillips says. “I had a little bit of the flu and was able to go downstairs and get seen [by a doctor] right away and get prescriptions right away. It was unbelievably convenient.”
But the facility does more than just provide medical treatment. Along with typical medical services as physicals and biometrics screenings, the Carnival Care Center is also a resource for everything from nutrition consultations to stress management and smoking cessation resources. There is a strong educational component as well, and Carnival devotes resources to informing employees about the Zika virus among other geographically relevant health threats through the center.
This is a great example of HR and corporate wellness at work and one, and Phillips believes that other large organizations could achieve big results by implementing similar programs. His advice for getting started? View employee satisfaction as a worthwhile goal, not just a means to an end, and start sooner rather than later.
“I think that any large firm or large organization can absolutely benefit from putting their employees’ health and wellness first. Having an onsite center that provides flexibility and consistency really helps the employees from a wellness standpoint and it helps drive employee engagement,” Phillips says.
“I think where organizations get hung up is they get locked into [asking] ‘what’s the ROI?’ My argument is that employee engagement is an ROI. If you engage employees and provide those levers that really drive satisfaction and engagement, [employees] really deliver for your guests, your customers, and your clients.”
SIDEBAR: Getting It Right
Metrics are often the true indicators of program success, and employee wellness programs are no exception to this rule. Here are a few measures of ROI that show that Carnival got it right with the Carnival Care Center:
• 84 percent of employees have gone through biometric screening.
• 43 percent have used the clinic.
• Among those who have used the clinic, 51 percent would be characterized as high-risk or having some type of chronic condition.
• The center has a patient satisfaction score of 92 percent.