State of Washington

Improving employee engagement and becoming an employer of choice

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Washington State understands the demands of connecting and supporting the well-being of a dispersed, varied workforce: through the Health Care Authority (HCA) and the Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB), they provide well-being benefits to over 140,000 employees in 400+ organizations.

In 2013, Washington reached a pivotal moment: Governor Jay Inslee issued an executive order to improve the health and productivity of state employees. This new focus brought well-being to the forefront, and that’s when the State turned to Limeade.


Together, the HCA and Limeade launched SmartHealth, an online employee engagement program for eligible employees, spouses and retirees. While employees participate in similar activities based on state-wide goals, events, resources and values, they are also empowered to create their own well-being journey. Leadership support was key, culminating with the annual Governor’s walk, where employees meet to walk through the state Capitol campus in Olympia with Governor Inslee. Employees across the state were encouraged to walk at their own locations, and all participating employee received points in the SmartHealth program.

To address the many sub-cultures of Washington state, HCA used Limeade targeting to create a series of challenges by location, agency job role and more. For example, knowing that Department of Corrections struggled to take care of their well-being in the face of a demanding job, the State made a push to improve leader and manager support across facilities.


Since the launch of SmartHealth, the State witnessed measurable improvement in well-being, employee engagement indicators and desirability as an employer.

They found that program users with higher well-being had 25% lower turnover compared to employees with low well-being — a potential savings of $1.6m in turnover costs.

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"We know you're dedicated to your work, but we want you to be dedicated to yourself and your families as well. Your health is important to me personally. It's also important for your ability to do your job and serve the public. So, I want to thank you for your personal efforts."

– Governor Jay Inslee to State of Washington employees


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