Why did your business decide become a Health Links Certified Healthy Business?:
Ariel decided to become a Health Links Certified Healthy Business to provide our wellness program with more resources, information and to connect us to other Healthy Businesses. It is also a privilege to be recognized by Health Links and it reflects highly on our wellness program.
What benefits did the Certification bring to your business?:
Ariel was connected to resources, information, networking opportunities, and was provided with assistance to continue to grow our current wellness program. This is the second year Ariel is recognized as a Certified Healthy Business Leader, the highest certification level possible, this is a major bragging right that illustrates how effective and wonderful our Wellness Program is.
How has this Certification changed the way your business thinks about health promotion and safety?:
The Certification has advanced leadership promotion of and engagement in the program, which provided a trickle down effect to all other employees. Ariel is in its third wellness program year and I believe wellness has successfully been infused as a part of Ariel's culture. Health and safety promotion are becoming second nature at Ariel.
How has your employee health and safety program given back to your community?:
Ariel works with community partners to promote health, wellness and safety. Ariel staff provide training to community members on topics such as trauma informed care and suicide prevention. Ariel also participated in a community wide challenge to promote emotional well-being, gratitude, and overall happiness.
Health Links (HL): Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?
Ariel Clinical Serviecs (ACS): The health and safety of our employees is important to Ariel because we care about each of our employees. Working in our industry can be extremely stressful and emotional, so that makes self-care, wellbeing, and health a priority. Our employees are our biggest asset and without a healthy workforce we cannot successfully carry out our mission or vision.
HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?
ACS: Our workplace health program, Ariel in Action, focuses on overall employee wellbeing, including education and activities for physical, psychological, and emotional wellness. The program encourages employees and their families to lead and practice healthy, active lifestyles. Our workplace safety program focuses on employee safety and includes a Workplace Violence Prevention and Safety Committee (WVPSC). The WVPSC plays the instrumental role of helping Ariel ensure that staff are safe from potential risks in their work environments. The WVPSC has representation from all program areas in each location. Ariel policies reflect the commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for its employees, clients and the community. It is the policy of Ariel Clinical Services that the safety of its employees and the public is of chief importance. Employees are included in both programs.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
ACS: At the beginning and end of the wellness program year all employees are included in an anonymous survey to evaluate the program and offer input. The feedback is utilized to help structure the next year’s program. Ariel also uses a tracking log for each activity, challenge, wellness appointment, wellness education that is completed throughout the year for each employee. At the beginning of the wellness year goals are set to increase participation levels. Participation levels directly reflect the time and effort employees are applying to their wellbeing.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
ACS: One of the biggest obstacles in getting the program started was getting employees involved and to take an active role in their wellbeing. Our second year of the program is proving to be more successful. As employees are seeing that the program is stable and here to stay there’s been more participation. One of the other obstacles was getting executive leadership and management to take an active role in motivating employees to participate and to lead by modeling the way. Having conversations with employees at all levels has made a big impact in overcoming these obstacles. We’ve also started utilizing more videos and pictures to motivate, which has helped.
HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?
ACS: Ariel in Action is committed to getting employees to actively engage in community events from running events to festivals to fundraisers to volunteering. Ariel in Action is sponsoring a team for the Relay for Life Event and the Toy Run.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?
ACS: Our tip for any business considering starting a workplace health and safety program is to “go for it.” It is not always easy but it is so worth it. Seeing how people light up when they see progress whether it is feeling better, losing weight, developing new skills/habits, or experiencing more joy is incredible. Having a healthy workforce pays off in so many ways and ultimately increases the success of the business.