A historically strong focus on employee culture prepared this Midwestern grocery chain for a chaotic 2020, leading to strong engagement from their 23,000+ employees

  • Company


  • Date posted

    Mar 15, 2021

  • Industry

    Grocery / Retail

  • Company size


  • Length of relationship

    9 years

The challenge

Hy-Vee, an employee-owned grocery chain with over 245 locations across the Midwest and a well-known tagline of “Where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle…”, has a history of prioritizing employee engagement and strong company culture. That was especially true for this essential business and their workers in 2020.
Hy-Vee and Navigate have partnered since 2012, building a program that prepared them well for the swerves 2020 had in store—and because of that the program saw 76% participant engagement over the past year.

Strategies and solutions

Creating a strong program foundation

When Hy-Vee initially came to Navigate to launch their employee wellness program nearly eight years ago, they had two core goals in mind:

  1. Increase access to existing benefits and resources

  2. Encourage employees to attend preventive care visits by making it easy for employees to access and upload physician forms

Navigate’s platform was able to help Hy-Vee accomplish both of these goals. First, Hy-Vee leveraged Navigate’s third-party vendor site integration capabilities so Hy-Vee program administrators could create a one-stop-shop for their employees, with easy to find information on all of their company benefits.

Hy-Vee’s second goal of simplifying the physician form process for participants was easily accomplished with Navigate’s incentive tracking table, which allowed participants to access the physician form from their dashboard, then upload the completed form at their convenience.

Offering more year over year

Over time, Hy-Vee’s program strategy grew—and Navigate’s flexible technology was able to expand with it. This includes helping Hy-Vee to process biometric screening completion files, which is especially helpful for administrators to curate a wellbeing program that is best suited for their employees’ specific needs based on trends in their data.

In addition, Hy-Vee expanded their incentive strategy and added Navigate’s customizable tracking table to track each of their completed activities, including other preventive exams, and monitor their year-over-year progress.

A robust program ready for the chaos of 2020

Because Hy-Vee has been working for several years to build out a strong program, they were well-equipped to manage through the uncertainty and exhaustion that accompanied 2020 and to offer their essential workers a solid foundation of support.

Today, the company has a truly comprehensive program that offers holistic wellbeing tools and resources addressing each of Navigate’s 8 Pillars of Wellbeing—balance, community, financial, mindfulness, nutrition, physical, purpose, and social.

Participants also now benefit from enhanced technology features and Navigate’s full breadth of resources. This includes personal health challenges, wellbeing articles, nutritious recipes, and the ability to sync favorite apps and devices. The platform also hosts video learning courses with content custom to Hy-Vee.

Each of Navigate’s comprehensive tools and resources are designed to reach every type of participant, no matter where they are on their wellbeing journey. And to make sure these tools and are always easily accessible, Navigate can easily integrate single sign-on (SSO) for our clients.


What began as a basic platform for running population-based challenges and facilitating physician form uploads has grown into a comprehensive health and happiness engine for Hy-Vee employees – truly helping each of them spark something incredible in their lives, for their company, and in their communities.


program engagement in 2020 across 23,463 employees and spouses

The benefits of the program haven’t gone unnoticed, with 2020 seeing a 76% engagement rate among 23,463 employees and spouses, significantly higher than typical industry averages for employee wellness programs.1

1. Workplace Wellness Programs Services Offered, Participation, and Incentives (rand.org)

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