The Aspen Clinic empowers and helps individuals to take charge of their health, by providing them with education one needs to make informed choices about their health. TAC acts as an extension of the individual’s physician/provider. TAC emphasizes personal health engagement, behavioral change and a comprehensive perspective to achieve life-changing results and optimal vitality.
Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you? :
First and foremost, we are a health and wellness organization, however our industry is notorious for the 'do as I say, not as I do' mantra. So I wanted to change that and not only encourage health and safety, but live it myself and set a good example.
What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?:
Our safety program is very basic for our staff and our members, but still very important. We are always encouraging proper lifting mechanics, movement and taking care of yourself. One of our guiding principles in our mission for the organization is injury prevention. So it's empowering for employees as well as our members.
How will you/do you know your program is successful?:
Very few sick days. Flex time is used often. Exercise before work, after work or for a break is encouraged. Also, our employees use their vacation time! We are able to retain our employees and never have a problem hiring new employees.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?:
We are small and a service organization...where we are constantly taking care of our members, so it's a challenge to remember to drink water, eat healthy and not get overwhelmed by the stresses of the job.
We support each other and communicate often. So that if the above issues become a problem we can address it. We are also a team. We want everyone to be able to be productive and it's hard if you don't have support!
Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?:
We volunteer as much as time allows. But mostly we provide discounted services to the community and donate a lot. This inspires our team!
What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?:
Start small and with the right intentions. If you can't personally do it, then how can you expect others to do it. Behavior change takes time and is most successful when done 1 piece at a time.
Health Links (HL): Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?
The Aspen Clinic (TAC): Healthy employees are happier and more productive employees and our employees are our greatest asset. As a health and wellness organization we “walk the talk”. We know how important it is to eat right, manage stress, get enough sleep and exercise daily and by emphasizing the importance of health we build a sense of camaraderie with our team.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
TAC: We know our program is successful when staff members show up to workout on their day off. They want to be here, even when they aren’t scheduled to be here. We also have a great support system, in that we all have workout buddies to hold us accountable…there is a lot of interaction. We are always challenging and encouraging each other to be our best selves.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
TAC: Employee buy in – we can’t force change, people have to want to be better and healthier. We started with the top down. Management doesn’t just say they have to participate; they do it and lead by example. We also educate as much as possible and offer services, from our organization and our partners, to our staff at a discount or free. We also provide social support with activities that aren’t related to work.
HL: Do you incorporate safety along with your wellness program? If so, what does this look like?
TAC: We ask that all of our employees become CPR/First Aid certified. We also ask them to be critical thinkers and look around for things that could hurt a client or themselves. We all work together as a team; nothing is left for someone else.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace wellness program?
TAC: Start small, but start something. It doesn’t cost any money to do an hourly walk around the building break. Or stand up and stretch or ask employees what they want. We have a saying around here: “Yesterday you said Tomorrow”. It is a very good reminder of how our good intentions can be forgotten or something else can take their place in a matter of hours.