Health Links (HL): Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?
City of Alamoa (COA): Our employees are our primary asset; they are the backbone of the whole City. Healthy and Safe employees provide great service to our citizens and visitors. Our motto is “Improving the life of those who serve”.
HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?
COA: The City of Alamosa has a full-service health and wellness fair annually that includes free health assessments-biometric screenings, vision, nutrition, sun safety, vaccinations, massage therapy, alternative medicine, and much more. In addition, our employees are given Max Trackers to track their activity; we also provide scholarships for adult leagues, walking meeting options, a monthly challenge and newsletter, and a free gym membership to all regular employees at our Family Recreation Center. To supplement our Health and Safety program we are in the process of incorporating an employee assistance program (EAP) to help our employees balance personal and work life. Lastly, we hold safety meetings biweekly and this year we will hold our first Safety Fair, where subject matter experts will train our staff on safety.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
COA: We survey our employees prior to releasing a new health and safety programs/incentive and after to ensure we are meeting their needs. There is always room to grow. Our Employee Team provides input and serves as collection points for feedbacks.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
COA: Our employees are dedicated to service; our major struggle was to create a culture where the employee takes time to take care of him/herself, by setting time aside for them. Through support from our City Manager and Department Heads, we have broken part of the barrier to ensure that our employees take time to go for a walk in between their shift, stretch, and participate in our monthly challenges.
HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?
COA: Of course, healthy and safe employees provide better service to citizens and visitors alike.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?
COA: The "Employee Team" is critical, because it creates buy-in from different divisions, excitement, and gathers feedback. Creating a diverse committee will ensure that all the aspects and dynamics of the organization will be considered.