Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) is a voluntary association of county and municipal governments that believes in the benefits of working together on a regional basis. NWCCOG serves 26 member jurisdictions in a 5-county region of northwest Colorado.
Health Links (HL): Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?
NWCCOG: We recognize the link between health and wellness of our employees and their productivity and their level of happiness wioth their work. Their overall health relates to their health within the workplace.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
NWCCOG: In terms of measuring the success, the level of participation in things we opffer is important to us and that were using as a measure of success. We’ll be completing year 1 at the end of june so measuring actual health outcomes is farther away right now. We’ve seen great success in participation in our Lunch n Learns which tells us the topics are of interest and employees are making it a priority to attend.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
NWCCOG: Funding wasn’t a huge obstacle for us since we went through the HL kick-statrt program but we don’t necessarily have a dedicated funding stream for our program. Also, we have office workers and field workers so it has been difficult to come up with program that work for both groups.
HL: Do you incorporate safety along with your wellness program? If so, what does this look like?
NWCCOG: We do. We’ve actually been doing a more formal safety program. We have a monthly safety committee meeting which has adopted wellness into their agenda and has become “health ans safety” committee. We present information on a variety of topics from driving safety, slips tripd and falls, and ergonomics. We make it a priority to have safety and wellness as a standing agends item on staff meetings.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace wellness program?
NWCCOG: Don’t be afraid if youre a small organization and you don’t have a lot of resources. You don’t need much to start a program and little things go a long way. Things such as brown-bag lunch and learns where health topics are presented upon are completely free. Time is normally an issue as well but if you take the “team approach” with your employees you can disperse the responsibility so the burdern is only on one person. Little things can mean a lot! Using existing systems in place such as monthly staff meetings to introduce wellness ideas