Health Links (HL): Why did your business decide become a Health Links Certified Healthy Business?
Pinnacol Assurance (PA): It’s important for Pinnacol to demonstrate that we take our employees’ health and wellbeing extremely seriously. Our employees are our biggest asset, and this certification shows that we truly care about them and their families.
HL: What benefits did the certification bring to your business?
PA: The greatest benefit we’ve seen with our certification is that it validates our wellness program. It’s shown our employees how much we value them, their health and the health of their families. The certification has also given us an opportunity to network with other businesses in order to improve our program and to share best practices.
HL: Has this certification changed the way your business thinks about wellness and safety?
PA: It has challenged us to continue to improve and design new wellness programs in order to remain certified as a Healthy Business Leader.
HL: Has the Health Links certification or your wellness program affected your surrounding community?
PA: Absolutely! We recently started working with community partners and other businesses to help create safer walking and biking paths in the Lowry community. Additionally, we’re working on programs that would allow community members to access our wellness resources.
Health Links (HL): Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?
Pinnacol Assurance (PA): Our employees are our biggest asset, and having employees who are healthy is good for business. Healthy employees are generally happy, and when they’re happy they can provide outstanding customer service. This helps sustain and grow our business. We’ve also found that having a strong wellness program is rated as a top benefit by our employees, which helps with recruitment and retention. In addition, we want to serve as a role model for other businesses so that we can help them learn from our successes.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
PA: Our employees tell us that our wellness program is successful. When employees leave our organization, they rank wellness as one of the top three benefits of working for us. We also determine success by the rate of employee engagement in our program. We are currently averaging an 82 percent engagement in our monthly programs.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
PA: To get our program to the level it is at now, we had to undergo a big cultural change. We had to get people to move beyond thinking wellness is just a nice benefit and show them that there’s a strategic reason for why wellness is offered. We’re helping employees understand that their health is about more than fitness and nutrition. We provide coaching for them to create and work toward achieving their individual goals, which can include physical, nutrition, environmental, social, spiritual, occupational and intellectual aspects. We’ve always had a great team of wellness champions, but we now work closely with our communications team to create and execute an ongoing communications plan.
HL: Do you incorporate safety along with your wellness program? If so, what does this look like?
PA: Absolutely. For example, we offer a variety of classes that incorporate team stretching and strength training. We also ask employees to complete an online ergonomic assessment to address potential safety issues at their workstations. These assessments are then followed by a one-on-one consultation with an ergonomist. In addition, our safety and security team provides ongoing communications to employees about things like weather safety, driving safety, employee badge safety, etc.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace wellness program?
PA: First and foremost, you must be clear on your vision and goals for the program. Knowing the value and the “why” behind a wellness program – and how to explain that to others – is a critical first step. Be sure to gain buy-in from leadership up front in the process. Then, find the appropriate resources in your company to support the program, people who are passionate about wellness and have the skills to support it – such as a communications department, event planning team, etc. These people can help you you develop and implement a strategic plan around the program. Finally, build your team of wellness champions who will be cheerleaders for the program and help “spread the word” around the company.