Enriching its Award-Winning Workplace, The Breakers Expands its Selection of Meaningful Team Member Programs

Legendary resort broadens customized initiatives to elevate its esteemed Culture of Care and Well-being


PALM BEACH, FL - At the heart of The Breakers Palm Beach, one of America’s most iconic resorts, is a purpose-driven, family-owned organization that is fueled by a ‘people come first’ philosophy and employee-centric culture. For more than 128 years, these values have inspired an ever-evolving workplace that prioritizes personal enrichment for its team, which has been fundamental to the hotel’s success and longevity.

Accordingly, the company has implemented new initiatives focused on mental health, preventative care, and personal development & education, all of which are essential components of The Breakers’ wellness toolkit and award-winning culture. This has led to an exceptional 85% average retention rate, reflecting associates’ profound satisfaction, and 96% are proud to tell others where they work (based on most recent Employee Opinion Survey).

“Our long-standing owners, heirs of founder Henry Flagler (circa 1896), are devoted to social responsibility, foremost, the welfare of the resort’s 2,300+ team members,” affirmed Denise Bober, Chief Human Resources Officer at The Breakers. “By providing an inclusive, engaging work environment centered around personal fulfillment, employees are encouraged to reach their greatest potential, and in turn, they can better care for themselves, their families, peers and community.”
 

LATEST WORKPLACE INITIATIVES:

BHS Thrive - Mental Health Counseling

Starting in April 2024, The Breakers launched a mental health counseling pilot program to grow its ever-expanding selection of team member wellness services. Facilitated through the company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), BHS Thrive offers associates free, on-site, 50-minute, one-on-one mental health sessions for those seeking support. These confidential appointments aim to alleviate challenges, foster trust and connect individuals with timely, evidence-based care. This approach leads to deeper insights, more effective interventions, and, ultimately, a higher rate of successful outcomes. Highlights include:

  • Private sessions conducted by licensed mental health counselor(s) 
  • Team members are eligible for six sessions, per topic, per year
  • Expertise focuses on emotional and behavioral issues such as anxiety, depression, grief, substance abuse, trauma, and more, as well as relationship concerns for couples and families
  • BHS reports an 88% counseling session attendance rate and 87% of participants remain engaged or complete engagement within 90 days, while 54% have not previously engaged in mental health care

“Our team has expressed immediate interest in this preliminary initiative,” shared Cara Striluk, Benefits Services Manager at The Breakers. “Appointments booked extremely fast via our on-site Wellness Clinic, and our associate’s initial feedback and response has been incredibly positive. Thrive provides employees with a wonderful opportunity to explore the benefits of therapy,” she continued.

The Breakers’ EAP gives support during critical and potentially overwhelming times by providing complimentary, confidential counseling and concierge services to all team members and their families. The program helps address the challenges of everyday living, resulting in a more focused and productive workforce.

Florida Mobile Mammography

In its growing roster of on-site, preventative exams and diagnostic services to identify potential health risks, The Breakers debuted a new partnership with Florida Mobile Mammography in December 2023. This comprehensive practice makes it convenient and easy for employees to receive 3D mammography screenings from a Breast Fellowship Trained Radiologist while at work during scheduled shifts.

The resort’s first organized session included 15 screenings, and fortunately, no abnormal results were found. Florida Mobile Mammography accepts The Breakers insurance plan(s) with preventative screenings fully covered. 

“With one in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, early detection is imperative to identify potential health risks and can quite literally save lives,” said Kerry Lawrence, Managing Partner at Florida Mobile Mammography. “Accurate readings allow increased visibility, making breast cancer easier to detect,” she continued. 

One team member shared, “Coming from a family with a history of cancer, I was pleased The Breakers brought this service on property. The staff was warm, welcoming, and they made me feel very comfortable.”  

Personal Safety & Self-Defense Training

Guardian Defense, an industry leader in active threat and workplace violence training, has customized a Personal Safety & Self-Defense Training course for The Breakers’ management team. 

Debuting in September 2023, and conducted biannually, this voluntary 3.5-hour course equips participants with the knowledge and skills to identify, avoid and respond to violent attacks. Attendees are educated through lecture and hands-on learning on how to:

  • Recognize pre-attack indicators and predatory strategies
  • Utilize situational awareness to steer clear of violent encounters
  • Employ self-defense techniques when faced with an attack
  • Navigate the legal aspects of self-defense as both an employee and civilian

Instructors demonstrate escape methods from assailants while incorporating defensive strikes. Participants engage with striking bags to practice these techniques, culminating in a Q&A session to reinforce learning and address any queries. 

Attendee feedback underscores the course’s effectiveness and comprehensive approach. One team member shared, “This class was outstanding; the instructors were friendly and encouraged questions. I appreciated that they focused on empowering and educating participants on a very serious topic. My favorite part was learning the practical applications to defend myself.”

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Pine Jog - An Environmental Education Center Partnership

To continuously enhance The Breakers’ sustainability initiatives, the resort rolled out a new partnership in 2023 with West Palm Beach-based FAU Pine Jog - a LEED-Certified Gold Facility dedicated to developing, researching, and disseminating services to cultivate environmentally educated and engaged communities. The organization’s programs foster awareness and action that impact more than 35,000 individuals annually in and around Palm Beach County. 

The collaboration aims to empower Breakers’ team members to actively participate in the property's sustainability journey for the future benefit of the company and surrounding communities.

This initiative began with the launch of a digital, multilingual quantitative survey that was designed to gather valuable feedback and assess employee attitudes and perceptions regarding sustainability practices at the resort. With a remarkable 70% participation rate (1,623 employees), the results confirmed a strong organizational foundation, as well as the team’s desire to improve efforts in every facet of the operations.

Specifically, team members express environmentally conscious attitudes toward:

  • Protecting the Planet: Access to clean air and water is crucial
  • Going Green: An important aspect of their daily lives
  • Reducing Impact: A personal willingness to invest extra effort to minimize footprint
  • Thinking Long-Term: Recognition that current resource consumption poses challenges for future generations
  • Eco-Friendly Choices: Importance of advocating and use of select products and services

Team perceptions reflect what employees value about the The Breakers’ sustainability efforts:

  • Clear Vision: Provides a well-defined, purpose-driven strategy
  • Action Speaks Louder: Takes concrete steps to fulfill commitments
  • Communication is Key: Clearly conveys initiatives internally and externally
  • Lead by Example: Management demonstrates model behaviors
  • Innovation Encouraged: Inspire others to find creative solutions

Building upon this valuable feedback with FAU Pine Jog, the resort is developing comprehensive Breakers Environmental Sustainability Training (BEST) for its workforce. This program will be educational, goal-oriented and focus on three crucial pillars: water, waste, and energy.

For more information on other social impact initiatives at the resort, please refer to The Breakers 2023 Social Impact Report.

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About The Breakers Palm Beach

One of America’s most iconic resorts, The Breakers is an Italian Renaissance-style hotel, set within 140 acres of oceanfront property on the island of Palm Beach, Florida. Founded in 1896 by magnate Henry M. Flagler, this legendary destination continues to thrive independent of chain affiliation under its original family ownership. Each year, an unrivaled investment averaging $30 million in capital improvements and ongoing revitalization, balances preservation and modernization to sustain multi-generational appeal.
 
Inspired by the Villa Medici in Rome, the magnificent, eight-story architectural centerpiece features 534 guest rooms and suites, including the ultra-luxury Flagler Club - a boutique, private-access hotel nestled atop the resort. A bounty of world-class amenities complements The Breakers’ gracious service and unparalleled seaside glamour. Ten distinctive restaurants, ranging from casual beachfront to stylishly sophisticated, showcase talented, award-winning chefs and Master Sommeliers. An exclusive beach club evokes the Mediterranean, with four pools, six whirlpool spas, 25 poolside bungalows and a variety of watersports. Additional offerings include two 18-hole golf courses, 10 Har-Tru tennis courts, a tranquil, indoor-outdoor spa, a 6,000 sq. ft. fitness center, 13 signature boutiques, a Family Entertainment Center with extensive activities for children, and Via Flagler by The Breakers - an off-site, al fresco plaza of boutiques, eateries and galleries. 
 
Along with being recognized as a AAA Five Diamond property, The Breakers has earned numerous accolades for its social impact, reflecting the organization’s unwavering commitment to team member well-being, the community and environment. For reservations or more information, call 888-BREAKERS (273-2537) or visit thebreakers.com.