This Ford photo shows employees participating in the Sept. 29, 2017, Wellbeing + Wanderlust @Ford event in Dearborn, Mich. (Ford photo)

Ford Adopts Holistic Approach to Employees' Well-Being

The company on Sept. 27 announced the new approach, and it held a Wellbeing + Wanderlust @Ford event on Sept. 29 in Dearborn that the company said was intended to jump-start employees' interest in their overall health.

Ford has adopted a new approach to employees' health, saying Sept. 27 that, while still offering traditional health benefits, the automaker is taking a more holistic approach focused on individual well-being and flexibility for its U.S. salaried employees. The added well-being benefits include New Parent Days, paid time off for fathers and adoptive parents, and up to 10 weeks’ maternity leave; a new campus is being built to support employee wellness and a Wellbeing + Wanderlust @Ford event was held Sept. 29 that was "intended to jump-start employees' interest in their overall health," according to the company.

Its announcement said the New Parent Days include 10 days of flexible paid leave for fathers and adoptive parents that can be taken any time during the first year following the birth or adoption of a child. Mothers recovering from childbirth can take the additional 10 days any time in the first year or add it to their maternity leave for up to 10 paid weeks off. "We are tipping the scales in favor of more flexibility, giving parents a better opportunity to secure the bonds that are so essential to a child's future well-being," said Kiersten Robinson, executive director of Ford human resources, global markets. "We believe helping employees live healthier lives and reducing stress will go a long way toward ensuring better personal and professional productivity, while improving the fitness of the company overall."

The company said it will continue to offer traditional health benefits "as part of a comprehensive approach that aims to ensure opportunities for employees to find not only professional fulfillment, social inclusion and financial stability, but also to achieve a balance of physical, mental and emotional health."

As for the Ford Dearborn campus transformation, it is a 10-year project including redesigned office space with a focus on wellness, collaboration, and sustainability. Treadmill desks and ergonomically designed workstations are involved, and there will be wellness and reflection rooms for prayer and meditation to encourage employees to take breaks to recharge. Landscaping around Ford World Headquarters will be made more eco-friendly, sustainable, and walkable.

Ford teamed with Wanderlust for the Sept. 29 event that featured mindfulness activities throughout the day, including yoga, meditation, coloring tables, and an oxygen bar.

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