Sachse Construction's People & Perks Department Recognized in 2020 Crain's Excellence in HR Awards - Sachse Construction
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Sachse Construction’s People & Perks Department Recognized in 2020 Crain’s Excellence in HR Awards

Sachse Construction has seen an increase in retention and a rise in employee engagement scores since its People & Perks department launched a company-wide wellness program.

The Detroit-based construction management and general contracting firm has 170 employees and generated $164 million in revenue last year.

Three years ago, Sachse’s People & Perks department created Project:U, a wellness program for employees that focuses on four categories: health, wealth, mind and body.

“We needed to create a wellness program that would be embraced by all generations of our company and a place where all of our team members can go to find resources,” said Myra Ebarb, director of People & Perks.

Multiple initiatives are offered to employees across each wellness category. For instance, employees who want to work on their wealth can take an online course, talk to a financial adviser and use online budgeting and finance tools paid for by the company. Team members who want to get fit are eligible for a $20 per month gym membership subsidy if they work out four times per month.

Last year, in an effort to destigmatize mental health, the company launched individual wellness programs that are accessible online and through mobile devices. Employees can customize their program by answering questions about their stress and happiness levels. The People & Perks team analyzes the anonymized responses of each team member and develops a suite of initiatives that caters to the needs of the team.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has offered additional mental health resources for employees. Employees are eligible for free memberships to mental health apps like Calm, a sleep and meditation app. Team members can also chat with a counselor and access mental health assistance programs.

More than 44 percent of employees have participated in Project:U’s individual wellness programs since its launch. The demand for the programs led the company to adopt a program from the University of Michigan called Mood Lifters, a voluntary 15-week program that allows participants to evaluate and improve their mental health through a series of wellness activities.

Employees that work outside of the Detroit office can also take advantage of Project:U benefits. They’re offered a quarterly wellness care package that includes resources such as a digital budgeting workshop, a spa gift card and a restaurant survival guide book that helps employees make smart decisions about what to eat while traveling.

Last year, more than 84 percent of employees participated in Project:U. Since its launch, the company has seen a 2 percent increase in retention. Employee engagement scores have also increased by more than 10 percent in two years.

“We put our team first and we’re always looking after them,” Ebarb said. “Everyone appreciates our wellness program because it’s a benefit that you really don’t see anywhere.”

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