Mercury Insurance is one of the largest auto insurance companies in the country, employing nearly 5,000 people at more than 40 locations. It’s also a 2017 Forbes Best Workplace. Employees consistently report they feel supported by the company, but after years of health and wellness initiatives, Mercury found that real change happens at the local level. That’s why they launched a robust network of Well-Being Ambassadors responsible for bringing the My Health at Mercury well-being program to life in the office.
Meet Brenda McReynolds
Brenda is also a mother of three active teenage girls. For years her personal life has been dominated by soccer practices, basketball games and a subsequent routine of fast food between commitments. Supporting her family from the sidelines, self-care was not her top priority.
“I decided to participate in the My Health program because I was desperate for a change in my life. I’d tried lots of diets, but for me I needed to be reminded constantly. This program gives me constant reinforcement and the encouragement I need to make a change.” — Brenda McReynolds
Why Brenda is a Game Changer
Brenda didn’t just join the program, she became a Well-Being Ambassador for the Valencia, California office, along with her co-Ambassador Traci. In addition to her day job, she attends monthly calls with other Ambassadors to hear what’s new in the program and share ideas for how to promote it around the office. She teaches colleagues how to sign in for the first time, makes fliers, organizes local events and uses her local well-being budget for kettlebells, resistance bands and other exercise equipment to keep in the break room. She hosts 15-minute workouts to make sure well-being can fit into anyone’s schedule.
Most recently, Brenda participated in an initiative to get department managers engaged in the My Health program. Ambassadors around the country approached the managers in their office to design new, creative program challenges — knowing that their support would empower more employees to get involved.
Brenda worked with claims manager Gabe to create the “Office Triathlon” challenge. The three events — a stair climb, trash can basketball and office chair races — took place on a single day, with bronze, silver and gold medals for all participants. The events were a hit — with lines out the door and a buzz across the office.
Employees at the Valencia office feel the impact of Brenda and her co-Ambassador’s efforts:
“Since I deal with customers all the time, my well-being definitely makes a big difference in how I come across to people. I’m happy, positive, relaxed and I definitely notice a difference. I didn’t used to be like this. So I can credit a good portion of that to the My Health program.” — Rena Schlender, Claims Specialist
“I used to be a teacher and I noticed that as time went on, because of bad eating habits, work would tend to decline. When I got the job at Mercury I found out how invested they are in my health — so I took advantage of the program and its resources. It helps that Brenda is so on top of it. I see her doing the walks, she’s always giving raffle tickets out and sending out emails. Most people at this job would probably not have gotten started with this if Brenda and Traci weren’t constantly reminding us of the events, activities and benefits.” — Brandon Decker, Claims Specialist
Brenda said, “For me, being an Ambassador is a win-win. I was desperate to get educated about my health and to take action. This gives me the tools to be on the front lines, and I can pass it along and be the office cheerleader. I try to remind my colleagues that it’s supposed to be fun. We’re in this together — so let’s enjoy getting healthy!”