Health Links [HL]: Why did your business decide become a Health Links Certified Healthy Business?
Community Hospital [CH]: Community Hospital obtained the Leader certification in 2015. We wanted to re-certify to demonstrate our commitment to employee health and wellness, as well as showcase our progress towards those efforts. We consistently strive to provide evidence-based and cutting-edge programs that keep our employees engaged.
HL: What benefits did the Certification bring to your business?
CH: The Health Links Healthy Business Leader Certification highlights Community Hospital's efforts to promote health and wellness as a leader in our industry and community.
HL: How has this Certification changed the way your business thinks about health promotion and safety?:
CH: The Health Links Certification ensures that at Community Hospital, we will continuously think about how we can strengthen our health and wellness programs for employees and spouses. We want to get consistently better at delivering effective programs to not only maintain our certification, but ultimately continue to improve the health and wellness of our employees and their families.
HL: How has your employee health and safety program given back to your community?
CH: Community Hospital sponsors various local physical activity events (5Ks, triathlons, etc.). Additionally, we host the Tour of the Valley, which is a 30-100 mile bike ride over the Colorado National Monument. We promote employee and family participation in these events by awarding points towards their annual wellness incentive. We also promote any external community physical activity event to all employees free of charge. Lastly, we also award points for volunteering in the community as well.
Health Links (HL): Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?
Community Hospital (CH): The health and wellbeing of our employees is important on so many different levels and for the overall culture of our organization. We want to ensure that we are providing the best working environment for employees not only for their health, but also for recruitment and retention of staff. Additionally, our wellness program is tied to our benefit design, and we want to ensure our program is helping to drive down costs. Our program is just one additional way we demonstrate that our employees are our most important asset.
(HL): What does your workplace wellness program look like?
(CH): Our wellness committee really drives the success we’ve seen from our interventions and programs. It is made up of representatives from different levels and departments of our organization. They work hard to determine employee interests for the programs we offer and they listen to feedback to see what we can improve on. As far as wellness activities, we offer four quarterly challenges per year. Three of those challenges are the same every year due to high interest and participation from employees and one challenge per year is a new, innovative way to keep employees engaged. We do a Heart Healthy Challenge in February, a 6-week Pedometer Challenge during the summer months and the Great Holiday Weigh, which is now a 13-week (October-January) challenge because of the high popularity. The fourth challenge is always different, but two of the more recent ones were a financial fitness challenge and a summer bucket list challenge.
(HL): How will you/do you know your program is successful?
(CH): We conduct satisfaction surveys after challenges are completed, but we really determine success from the testimonials we receive from employees. Our Wellness Committee works really hard to gather that feedback from employees throughout the organization. We look at participation and how many employees fully completed challenges to determine success. We are also able to measure success from HRA and health screening data annually.
(HL): What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
(CH): Every organization has unique challenges due to the nature of their business, and we’re no different. Being a hospital, we’re open 24/7 so being able to offer programs for all employees all of the time was a big challenge that we worked hard to overcome. We offer health screenings at different days/times to reach as many people as possible and we offer challenges and programs that can be done at any time of the day. We also have multiple locations, so including employees from all of our locations has been another challenge we’ve had to work on.
(HL): Do you incorporate safety along with your wellness program? If so, what does this look like?
(CH): We do. We have a safety committee that we consult with often and we also work closely with our workman’s compensation representative to make sure that whatever we’re doing is in line with the safety policies we have and that we’re not promoting something that will injure our staff. We’re currently building a new hospital that will have a mile-long walking path with exercise stations, so we will collaborate with the safety committee on that. It’s important that we work together and always know what the other is doing to provide the best possible program to employees.
(HL): Does your wellness program help give back to your community?
(CH): We try to as much as possible. Our CEO is very active and we’re always supporting local events and races. We actually host two events each year, the Magnet Run 5k and the Tour of the Valley, which is a 30-100 mile bike ride over the Colorado National Monument. We also sponsored the HITS triathlon series in May. We promote employee participation in these local events and we award points to employees for participating. We also award points for volunteering in the community as well.
(HL): What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace wellness program?
(CH): The most important thing to remember is that you have to listen to employees. If you’re able to offer employees programs that they’re interested in, they are much more likely to be involved and participate. It’s also important to understand the level of health literacy for those you’re working with and not to offer programs that are too complex if people aren’t ready.