Health Links [HL]: What does being a healthy workplace mean to your organization?
Aspen Grove [AG]: It means we provide opportunities for staff to ensure they are able to make healthy mental, physical, and emotional decisions. Having an organized plan enables us to enact programs that are beneficial for not only our staff but also our retailers. We feel that healthy workers make a happier workplace; and happy workers make healthier choices. Also, if we’re all supporting each other we feel like a team.
[HL]: How does your organization create a culture of health, safety, and well-being for employees?
[AG]: We have a very collaborative environment. We have many discussions about how we can support each other and how we can move our health and safety programs forward. We are all vested in being healthier and doing our jobs at peak performance. We are using our Action Plan from Health Links to make improvements.
[HL]: What changes have you seen among your employees, their families, or the surrounding community as a result of your program(s)?
[AG]: They are more relaxed and comfortable with choosing family over work when it is appropriate. Employees make better choices when it comes to diet and exercise; they bring healthier lunches and get out to walk in the shopping center more. We have a map that shows how to get in a quick one-mile walk. Both employees and retailers take advantage of that resource.
[HL]: How has Health Links helped your organization?
[AG]: It has shown us some areas for improvement. For example, we plan to address ways to celebrate each other’s successes without doing so through sugary treats. If we want to boost morale, it doesn’t need to be done through offering food. We could show appreciation through a nice note or taking the time to verbally express thanks. We see where there are places to improve those types of things that will not only make us a better team, but also a healthier team.
[HL]: What tips or pieces of advice would you give to a business looking to create a healthier, safer, and happier environment?
[AG]: Make it a collaborative effort. Get as much buy-in as possible from employees from the start. Some employees will emerge as leaders to assist in these efforts and supervisors should make that an option for those employees; it’s a top down thing. Ask questions and utilize the resources available to you. Health Links has been very informative when we need to discuss resources or new ideas.