SANTA ROSA – At TLCD Architecture, company leaders encourage employees to embrace social responsibility with genuine care for people, community and sustainable principles.

This commitment is reflected in a work environment that supports healthy choices in food, exercise, flexible hours and a sense of wellness -- principles that carry over into a variety of practical programs designed to create a culture of health and fitness.

“TLCD attended a North Bay Business Journal conference a few years ago where part of the discussion focused on corporate wellness programs,” said Marina Starkey, marketing director at TLCD. “While there, we discussed establishing a similar program at our firm.”

[caption id="attachment_44809" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="TLCD Fit Force creek cleanup crew"][/caption]

Having buy-in from management, she was able to form a workplace wellness committee that utilized some of the resources available from the Northern California Center for Well-Being, as well as some unique ideas generated within the firm.

The company established the “TLCD Fit Force” in 2009 as the vehicle for a variety of activities, such as stretching, stair climbing and group walks at lunchtime on the Prince Memorial Greenway.

Additionally, there are after-hours events such as bowl-a-thons, hikes, golfing and ball games. The firm had several employees riding in the Grand Fondo bike race this year, and one employee competes in the annual Vineman Triathlon. 

The Fit Force charter emphasizes fitness, healthy eating, team building and community involvement -- with participation in the Redwood Empire Food Bank, the Human Race, United Way and other local organizations.

“I never really liked running, but when the Fit Force invited the staff to participate in the Santa Rosa Human Race, I decided to give it a try. Thanks to the support and encouragement of my fellow coworkers, I had a great race and found a new activity that I love,” said TLCD's Bridgett McGrath.

The program is constantly evolving to keep ideas fresh. Some of the food related events have included a winter cook-off, summer smoothies and regular potlucks with a healthy spin on ingredients and nutrition. Several staffers have CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) baskets of organic fruits and vegetables delivered to the office to allow for easier pick up and drop offs.

TLCD also advocates healthier food choices for lunches and meetings. The company installed a cost-saving reverse osmosis water system and gave employees PVA free water bottles.

During Earth Week 2011, a different “green event” was held every day, such as refinishing the firm’s outdoor deck furniture, mixing healthy cleaning products, a clean-up party along the Santa Rosa Creek, and a raffle for those walking or cycling to work for the week.

“The primary goal of the TLCD Fit Force is to encourage healthy options in the workplace.  You can’t achieve this by enforcing policies or by being heavy handed. We’ve been more successful with a lighter touch, and by emphasizing a culture of fitness and a good life balance,” Ms. Starkey said.