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Celebrating a Wellness-Driven Workplace: The Governor’s Award for Wellness

As an organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of people in our care, we at KVC Nebraska have dedicated ourselves to creating a workplace where our team members can experience wellness. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently honored our efforts. KVC Nebraska is the newest recipient of the Governor’s Grower Award! 

Governor's AwardWe were humbled to be among 27 exceptional organizations across the state when Governor Jim Pillen and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced this year’s recipients of the Governor’s Wellness Award. The award celebrates recipients for their commitment to evidence-based worksite wellness programs.

“An organization’s people are its greatest assets, and it makes good business sense for companies to encourage good nutrition and healthy lifestyles through workplace programs,” said Governor Pillen about the Wellness Award. These programs encourage team members to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle.” Here at KVC Nebraska, we couldn’t agree more!

See why this award means so much as an affirmation of our commitment to wellness. And why you should consider KVC if you’re planning a career move in the mental health space! 

What is the Governor’s Award for Wellness?

The Governor’s Award recognizes organizations in Nebraska that are making strides in employee health and wellbeing, becoming models of employee care and inspiring other organizations to do the same. The award has three different categories: the Sower, the Grower and the Harvester.

The Sower Award honors companies embarking on initiatives for employee health and wellness. The Harvester Award highlights those who have established employee wellbeing initiatives and can statistically demonstrate successful improvements made in the workplace. The Grower Award was recently awarded to KVC Nebraska. The award recognizes organizations that have laid out the groundwork for employee wellbeing practices and are starting to see the fruits of their labors.

Sarah Nixon, Chief Promotion and Marketing Officer of Wellbeing

This is the first year that KVC Nebraska applied for an award of this kind and it’s an honor to have been selected! As Sarah Nixon, Chief Promotion and Marketing Officer of Wellbeing with KVC Nebraska, explains, “Organizations from all over the state apply to receive the Governor’s award, and as a smaller organization of about 55 or 60 employees, we were shocked to see that we were recognized alongside much larger corporations.”

KVC’s Recent Wellness Initiatives

Historically, employees were thought of as just coming to work simply to do a job. Employers only provided what was needed to get the job done.

“An employee is not simply someone who shows up for work, but a whole entire person,” Nixon explains. “It’s not productive for employers to assume that employees don’t have other needs beyond what directly relates to the job itself.”

Employees who are satisfied with their overall wellbeing are often more engaged and productive in the workplace. When looking at a person’s overall wellness, there are five pillars KVC Nebraska focuses on:

  • Career Wellbeing
  • Social Wellbeing
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Physical Wellbeing
  • Community Wellbeing

Nixon says, “At KVC, engagement is really important to us. So, we are always trying to do what’s best for our employees, because when they can come to work as their whole fulfilled self, then they’re better employees.”

Undoubtedly, a positive work environment leads to engagement and productivity. Subsequently, the employees, the organization and the community all benefit. 

Governor's AwardIn the last several years, the KVC Wellbeing Committee has developed new strategies for improving and prioritizing employee wellbeing. Each year, this committee devises employee engagement opportunities focusing on the five key areas of wellbeing, such as:

  • A sleep challenge aimed at improving employee sleep habits
  • A walking challenge to encourage team members to get those steps in and focus on movement and physical activity
  • Scheduled round table sessions to advise employees on financial stability
  • A giving campaign to encourage community involvement and a spirit of giving back 
  • An on-site puzzle station for employee brain breaks and to encourage socialization among coworkers
  • An on-site card and coloring station inviting employees to send each other creative words of encouragement
  • And an annual “Well-being-palooza” Event, offering biometric screenings, flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines, healthy eating solutions, and webinars on a variety of health topics 

Thanks to the Wellbeing Committee’s initiation of these efforts, KVC became a contender for the Governor’s Award. We believe receiving such an award is a signpost that we are moving in the right direction!

Come Be Part of a Wellness-First Organization 

Governor's AwardAt KVC, our mission of connection, community and wellbeing is at our core, and what our employees do for our clients each day is a huge part of that! However, making a positive impact in the lives of others like we do at KVC can be taxing. “It’s important for us to make sure we’re not just taking from the employees, but that we’re also giving to them and filling their cup as well,” Nixon says.

With wellbeing as the overarching goal, we have several other beneficial initiatives at KVC aimed at improving employee satisfaction, like our engagement initiatives, our diversity, equity and belonging initiatives and retention initiatives. We are pouring back into our staff so their cups never run dry. It’s crucial to empower them to be the best support to our clients that they can be.

The future is bright for KVC, and we believe receiving the Governor’s Grower Award is a sign of even greater potential to come. Now is the time to start your career with us and see how a wellness-first organization works. It’ll only get better from here. 


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