by Leanne Loy
When it comes to health and wellness, Brenny Transportation takes care of its employees.
Since 2017 Brenny has had an onsite registered nurse working alongside its employees, offering help with not just their physical health, but their mental health too.
Joyce Brenny, CEO and co-founder of Brenny Transportation, was growing concerned for the company’s drivers. They’d spend so much time on the road, away from their families, sleeping in their trucks that often there was no time or opportunities to be able to eat right or get the exercise a body needs. Brenny was trying to figure out a way to help support the drivers physically and mentally.
“The health of truck drivers and the life expectancy of them is about 61 years old, and that’s not very old,” Holly Simon said. Simon is a registered nurse and wellness coordinator for Brenny.
Simon is the daughter of Todd and Joyce Brenny, founders of the company. Simon said her mother’s concern for the drivers’ well-being is what caused her to hire Simon, a registered nurse, as a perk for employees, in addition to the health benefits employees already receive.
“We always say at Brenny, our health is our wealth,” Simon said, “and we truly feel that.”
When her parents asked her to come onboard, she wasn’t entirely sure how it would work out. They started to brainstorm some ideas on how to help their employees, thinking about what kind of services they could offer them that would be most beneficial.
“It started out being something more for the drivers,” Simon said, “but we quickly realized the office workers could benefit from this too.”
Today, Brenny has four team members who are trained in CPR and proper use of an automated external defibillator, and they have an AED unit on site. Some staff are trained on using a tourniquet and they have first aid kits and eye wash stations throughout the facility.
In addition to the safety services, Simon also started a Facebook page created just for their drivers. She posts quick and easy recipes for on-the-go drivers and simple but effective exercises those on the road can do.
Each year they run a health fair and a flu-shot clinic. Simon has also brought in speakers who have discussed several health topics to ensure they are keeping their employees informed and supported in their health journey.
Brenny started also encouraging healthy eating and exercising for office workers too, since they, too, run the risk of health issues as so many are required to sit behind desks to do their jobs, resulting in a sedentary lifestyle.
“Twice a day we have exercise time, “Simon said. “It’s to get everybody up and stretching and moving their bodies.”
There are challenges too for weight-loss, healthy eating and cooking. They join together as a group to do a 5k run/walk.
Brenny’s location next to the Wobegon Trail also has its benefits.
“We have company bikes we offer so our team members can take [them] out on the trail on their breaks, or they can walk on their breaks,” Simon said. “It’s an awesome location to be at.”
Brenny also takes mental health seriously. Drivers are away from home so much it makes it hard on families but can be isolating for the drivers as well.
If they need counselingl or services outside the company, Simon is always willing to listen and has resources available to give the employees. This takes the guess out of the employees having to find the resources they need and makes it easier for them to connect with the appropriate people.
“We need to make our health our priority,” Simon said.
She said she believes if you treat your employees right and take care of them, they’ll take care of you.