Health Links (HL): Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?
Fitzsimons Credit Union (FCU): The mental and physical fitness of our employees has a direct influence on the quality of service to our membership. Overall, healthy employees are happier and more productive. Employees also tend to have less absences due to illness.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
FCU: We will know our program is successful when we have a majority of employees participating in the competitions and functions. Further, employees will learn to eat healthy foods (at home as well as at work), give up unhealthy habits (such as smoking), and take part in some form of exercise every day.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
FCU: Early on, there was some resistance from some employees who expressed that they didn’t want the “Wellness Committee” imposing healthy practices on them. So the Wellness Committee surveyed the employees to determine everyone’s interests and ideas, and then tried to include these suggestions in the program throughout the year.
HL: Do you incorporate safety along with your wellness program? If so, what does this look like?
FCU: Fitzsimons Credit Union does incorporate safety with the wellness program. The credit union provides CPR an AED certification classes as well as First Aid classes to any employee who wishes to be certified. Safety related training is ongoing for the staff (i.e., ergonomics, slips and falls, winter driving, etc.) throughout the year.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace wellness program?
FCU: To have a successful workplace wellness program, you have to have buy-in from the CEO. Although you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a wellness program, it is important to establish a budget. It is best to encourage participation, rather than require it, and it is also a good idea to survey the employees for activities they would like to participate in during the year.