How Montana University System Pressed
Play on Well-Being
Like most great organizations, Montana University System wants its employees to be happy, healthy and engaged in their jobs.
Most employees are already passionate about the
mission of providing high-quality education. But this
passion can lead to stress, long hours at desks and
little time for self-care.
The solution: MUS partnered with Limeade to
create a well-being program—MUS Wellness—
that appealed to employees in any part of the
state and at any point of their well-being journey.
Program goals were to improve employee health
and empower users to be the champions of
their personal well-being—all while containing
healthcare and tuition costs.
But MUS faced a significant challenge. The
population of 8,000 benefits-eligible employees
is spread across 14 large, small and remote
campuses, and the organization doesn’t use a
centralized email system. The well-being program
managers would have to rely on social media,
in-person events and word-of-mouth to drive
How the MUS Wellness Program Works
Above all, MUS leaders wanted well-being to
feel like the easy choice, no matter what unique
goals employees wanted to achieve. They wanted
MUS Wellness to feel simple, accessible and fun.
And they wanted the program to recognize the
whole employee—with activities to improve well-
being inside and outside of work.
A clear connection to state pride was another
key priority when designing the program. MUS
Wellness reflects themes that Montana residents
care about to unify employees across the state.
One of the most popular activities is the Montana
Moves challenge, which encourages employees to
get outside and explore. Another is the ongoing
Trek the 406 step challenge, which rewards
employees for walking the equivalent length of
well-known historical routes, such as the Beartooth
Highway or the Lewis and Clark Trail.
To promote the program, MUS started by
leveraging the Montana Moves & Montana Meals
Blog—an already popular employee resource
with a wealth of content on exercise, nutrition,
event announcements and employee well-being
improvement stories. Employees on the blog were
directed to Limeade to get points for their healthy
The two program managers—a licensed
nutritionist and a certified fitness coach—were also
positioned as the face of the program. Traveling
across the organization’s 16 locations, they held
program launch events to drive excitement and
understanding of the program. Today, they
maintain this strategy (and reduce travel costs)
through strategic use of video—creating, sharing
and incentivizing original “how-tos,” program
updates and personal well-being stories.
Videos are also promoted on MUS social media
channels, on Twitter and Facebook, and always
drive employees back to MUS Wellness.
MUS Wellness quickly became a hub for
employee well-being tools and resources.
Building on the success of its original video
series, the team launched Limeade Interactive, a
video and quiz add-on that transforms bite-size
videos and presentations into targeted well-being challenges. MUS uses Limeade Interactive
to post healthy recipes, how-to videos, and
integrated quizzes to test users’ knowledge and
comprehension. The product offers analytics,
so program managers can see how people
performed in key challenges.
Organization Name: Montana University System
Employees are more likely to feel higher levels
of well-being when they feel higher levels of
organizational support. And MUS employees are a
Since launching with Limeade, the organization
has seen a significant year-over-year improvement
in health, well-being and productivity:
• Blood sugar levels improved 30 percent;
• Self-care scores improved 20 percent;
• Work meaning and sleep improved 17
• Energy levels improved 14 percent.
The Limeade Interactive add-on boosted
program participation, too. Employees with access
to Limeade Interactive had 32 percent higher
Headquarters: Helena, Mont.
Primary Business: Higher education
HR Challenge: To create a program that makes well-being feel relevant and
attainable for a hard-to-reach population
CASE STUDIES IN HR EFFECTIVENESS