About ChallengeME

ChallengeME is the Commissioner’s Initiative, developed in 2016, to change the culture of MaineDOT by developing a healthy workforce through promoting health, reducing healthcare cost, improving morale and productivity, aiding in employee retention and recruitment and assisting the workforce in making positive lifestyle changes. Initially, it will focus on five key areas:

  • Educating employees on our health benefits package
  • Healthy eating
  • Staying physically active
  • Quitting tobacco
  • Stress management and mental health

ChallengeME is aligned with the Department’s 2016 Strategic Plan

One of the Plan’s objectives is: “Improve employee health,” and has two associated strategies:

  • “Create a sustainable healthy workforce culture”
  • “Reduce employee’s health risks.”

ChallengeME directly supports this objective. In fact, successful achievement of this objective will in turn directly support achievement of all other goals and objectives in the Strategic Plan.

ChallengeME is supported by DOT management.

The Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Chief Engineer, and managers are fully committed to the success of ChallengeME. They support the vision of a healthy workplace culture that provides DOT employees with a supportive environment to engage in wellness programs and activities and achieve a healthy lifestyle at work and at home.

Why ChallengeME Makes Sense

Our current health trends are not sustainable. In order to maintain an effective workforce into the future, MaineDOT needs to address several critical facts:

  • Health care costs continue to rise, including premium payments and out-of-pocket costs for employees, as well as health plan costs for the State of Maine.
  • DOT employees, like Americans in general, are experiencing:
    • Rising obesity rates
    • Inactivity/sedentary lifestyles
    • Poor nutrition
    • Rising rate of diabetes
    • Stress
    • Poor sleep habits

The cost of treating chronic health conditions is the main contributor to rising health care costs in Maine. Data shows that almost 70 percent of people in the age group 45 to 64 suffer from at least one chronic health condition; 40 percent suffer from two or more conditions. The average DOT employee is 48 years old.

The goals of ChallengeME

The goals of the ChallengeME are:

  • Improve overall health and safety of employees
  • Increase happiness and engagement
  • Improve productivity
  • Reduce absenteeism and presenteeism
  • Improve recruitment and increase retention
  • Reduce health plan costs