Organizational Wellness

Success Story: Afya & Wellhub

Dec 7, 2021
Last Updated May 17, 2024

How Wellhub Can Help Strengthen Your Corporate Culture

Founded in 2019, Afya Educacional was born from the merger of NRE Educacional, one of the largest medical education groups in Brazil, and Medcel, a leader in preparatory courses for medical residencies and specializations. Subsequently, the organization also acquired other, smaller companies in the sector and has been expanding exponentially.

The group has over 6,000 employees, almost half of whom are teachers, and 30 teaching campuses located in more than 15 states, as well as in the Federal District. It is expected that at least seven more units will be opened in the coming years – mainly in inland cities and smaller state capitals. According to the Vice President of People, Management and Services, Denis Del Bianco, one of Afya’s key goals is to bring education and healthcare to more rural parts of the country.

In view of its corporate purpose, well-established presence and speed of growth, the HR team’s main challenges involve building and solidifying a unique culture. As a result, the new corporation decided to invest in benefits aimed at employee health and wellness; among them, Wellhub: “It made a lot of sense for us to look first at benefits focused on the health and well-being of employees, because this is in our very name,” comments the VP.

Afya, from the African Swahili dialect, means health. As health is at the heart of the company, and also because it sees the need to offer its employees increasingly flexible and universal benefits, Afya signed a partnership with Wellhub in November 2019. Since then, employee feedback has been extremely positive.

Satisfaction survey improvements

In addition to collecting feedback from employees, Afya constantly conducts satisfaction surveys. When comparing 2019 to 2020, the HR team identified a 12.7% increase in employee satisfaction regarding the ‘benefits’ portion of the survey – including Wellhub and other resources that were available to employees. The department leader explains how there has been a huge increase in overall positive sentiment: “It is incredible and the level of engagement is very high. Our job in HR is to ensure that we continue to improve.”

“It’s a cool partnership, Wellhub‘ mission and vision are very much in sync with ours.” – Denis Del Bianco, VP of People, Management and Services

The impact of Wellhub’ digital solutions

Just like other companies, Afya were required to adapt in the face of the pandemic. In addition to the introduction of remote working and the continuation of distance learning classes, the company’s Board of Directors made a strategic decision against reducing or suspending any employee work contracts – boosting the overall sense of security.

To generate even higher engagement, in partnership with Wellhub the organization issued a number of challenges. The idea behind these actions is to motivate employees, even when they are working from home, to learn about and take advantage of Wellhub’ digital wellbeing options. These include, among others, online classes, sessions with personal trainers, partner applications, and visits to the network’s gyms.* For example, to participate in the program, physical activity is required at least three times a week – and at the end of the challenge, the three people with the highest number of check-ins receive rewards.

The challenges are promoted through a communication strategy involving HR emails, in-house social networks, and meetings with top managers and business partners. In addition, according to Del Bianco, ongoing and relatively independent efforts by local departments have significantly contributed to increasing the visibility of these challenges: “One employee makes a video, another urges people to get involved. We have a lot of different tribes, so we like things being free at this point. They know how to best engage with their own teams.”

“As an extremely sedentary person, I left my comfort zone and began to exercise every day. I’m very satisfied, I feel better, calmer, and more excited to continue my activities.” – Tyellen dos Reis, employee

“It was very good for me to be able to create healthier habits and improve my life, both inside and outside the company.” – Agnes Caon, employee



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