Health Links (HL): Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?
CoBiz Financial (CBF): CoBiz believes that healthy employees are more energized, engaged and dedicated to performance, thus pushing productivity to higher levels. The Company’s ongoing education and resources provide employees knowledge of their personal health factors and opportunities to increase healthy behaviors for themselves and their dependents.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
CBF: CoBiz measures key components of our program i.e., 94% of employees received an annual physical in 2014 and more than 50% completed annual health assessments. We’ve also seen increased participation in company sponsored events, wellness webinars and exercise programs. With a healthier workforce, medical claims declined significantly.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome? How did you overcome?
CBF: In the early years of the CoBiz program, a big obstacle was educating and assuring employees that their personal health information was completely confidential. Continuing to provide educational materials and engaging outside insurance professionals to reiterate the message has helped to overcome this obstacle.
HL: Do you incorporate safety along with your wellness program? If so, what does this look like?
CBF: Safety is indirectly incorporated into the CoBiz Wellness program through our Worker’s Compensation plan whereby ergonomic worksite and medical evaluations are conducted as appropriate.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace wellness program?
CBF: Understand the purpose of implementing a plan, determine the strategies necessary to achieve your objectives, obtain executive level buy-in and commit to the success of the program and measure the plan at regular intervals.