What Makes a Teddy Award Winning Organization? Learn from This Year’s Honorees

By: | July 15, 2022

Michelle Kerr is Workers' Compensation Editor and National Conference Chair for Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

Every year, I get questions about what we look for when selecting Teddy Award winners.

There are a lot of answers to that. Teddy winners demonstrate a 360° approach to workers’ comp and injury prevention. They aren’t satisfied with industry best practices, they want to reach higher. They build programs and structures that are designed to foster continuous improvement, and to adapt as the company grows and evolves.

Teddy-award winning organizations have high expectations for their partners and they communicate those expectations clearly. They are willing to innovate and step out of the box in order to provide the best for the unique needs of their injured workers, and to prevent the same injury from happening to anyone else.

Teddy winners have well-developed return to work programs, ensuring that even workers who can’t return to their regular role are still able to contribute to the organization in a meaningful while recovering safely. All of this and more is what are judges seek when the select winners.

But if you really want the best picture of what a Teddy Award-winning organization looks like, then look to R&I’s 2022 Teddy Award winners, brought to you with the support of PMA Companies.

Wisconsin-based commercial printer Quad has a sophisticated program with a proactive focus, and the ability to successfully adapt. Quad’s program held strong as the company more than doubled its size, acquiring companies with varying degrees of historic safety and workers’ comp disarray, and successfully integrating them into the program, and into the company’s safety and workers’ comp culture.

Quad employs industrial athletic trainers to help create a culture of injury prevention, and has made deep investments in providing high quality medical care for injured workers. You’ll learn about Quad in the September/October issue of Risk & Insurance®.

AGCO’s Jackson operations takes Teddy Award honors as well this year. AGCO has also made deep investments in giving workers access to high-quality medical and preventive care, with medical professionals, occupational therapy, physical therapy and even chiropractic care available onsite.

AGCO takes it a step further even, fostering better preventive health by offering access to personal health appointments onsite with a nurse practitioner. Find out more about AGCO in R&I’s July/August issue.

In the same issue, find out more about Teddy Award winner INTEGRIS Health. IH has maintained a strong safety and workers’ comp program for decades. But when its incurred losses began to creep up, it took swift action.

It developed a new Leadership Operating System, increased engagement and hazard awareness with huddles, focused on real-time reporting and management of claims. By 2020, IH had achieved a 50% reduction in incurred costs, and created new processes and practices that will drive continuous improvement well into the future.

Often, Teddy winners share with us their journey toward becoming an award-winning organization. Elwyn of Pennsylvania and Delaware began fighting 10 years ago to turn around a litigious program that didn’t reflect the company’s values.

Elwyn is one of the nation’s oldest private non-profit organizations, providing services in multiple states, including residential and outpatient programs for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as mental illness. With renewed focus on respect and engagement, Elwyn cut frequency and costs in half, and dropped the number of claims in litigation by 90%. Read Elwyn’s story alongside Quad’s in the September/October issue of R&I.

We applaud the dedication and spirit of the 2022 Teddy Award winners. We hope they inspire other organizations to reach higher and achieve true excellence in their workers’ compensation and injury prevention programs. &

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