HL: Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?
SCOF: State College of Florida, Manatee - Sarasota understands the value of healthy employees and believes that our employees are our most valuable resource and important to our success. By giving employees an outlet for wellness at work, we have started engaging employees from a different level, one of wellbeing. In short, we are saying, "We care about you, we care about your wellbeing, we care about your health."
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
SCOF: Success at SCF involves several areas: employees advocating for their own health; employees engaged in incorporating healthier activities into their daily lives; and, on the other end, a sustainable results-oriented program, which shows continued healthy behavior changes in our employees year after year. Change takes time so we are always striving for a "better, best" mentality when it comes to our programming and have found that a successful program needs a mixture of employee needs, wants and SCF's resources.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
SCOF: When we first started, we had a more clinical approach. As the years passed, we followed workplace wellness trends and started focusing more on a wellness approach. As we are continuing to move forward, we again are looking at trends and have started to put together a more focused approach towards wellbeing. Throughout our transitions and modernizations, we have had continued support of leadership along with a strong wellness committee, both of which believe in the benefits of a healthy workforce. This is key in having a highly functioning wellness program.
HL: Do you incorporate safety along with your wellness program? If so, what does this look like?
SCOF: At the State College of Florida, Health and Safety of every employee and student is a high priority. SCF maintains many safety and health programs that are compliant with the best practices of all local, state and federal regulated organizations. To be successful, it requires participation and cooperation from all levels and can only be achieved through teamwork. Everyone must join together in promoting safety and health, and taking every responsible measure to assure safe working conditions. Only through such a cooperative effort can an effective safety and health program be effective.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace wellness program?
SCOF: START! Small wellness programs are better than NO wellness programs. Knowing your culture, determining your employees' needs and wants, and implementing a system to strategically bring this altogether with the resources you can provide are the first steps.