Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?
It’s the right thing to do. We know that healthily employees are happy employees. East West Resorts employees offer superior customer service to our guests and we want to offer superior benefits in return. We want to be a competitive employer in the resort communities we work in and this is a great way to give back to the employee. It benefits the company as well as it increases productivity and decreases absenteeism.
Tell us about your worksite wellness activities/program.
We work with a Health Coach and have a high focus on nutrition since eating well is a huge part of being healthy. We publish weekly recipes and nutrition tips on our company intranet, the Inside Track. We also provide quarterly talks on health topics and do quarterly videos (pantry Purge, Grocery Store Tours). We are in the process of putting together cooking classes in Colorado.
We use Viverae for another wellness resource for our employees. We do annual biometrics at no cost to our employees and their spouses on health insurance. They get their results and have access to a website full of resources for all types of health issues and fitness and nutrition. We have many success stories of folks who have discovered issues during these screening they were not aware of. We also have company challenges that range from topics on fitness to nutrition. We raffles prizes like an iPad Mini, Fit Bit and gift cards to local sporting good stores.
How do you measure the success of your program?
By participation and the overall health of our employees. We seek feedback through employee surveys.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
One of our largest obstacles is logistics. We mange over 70 associations in Colorado, a gas station, restaurant, eye wear vendor, etc. and have locations in multiple states. We are continually reassessing the program to see how effective we are in communicating to our employees and that they are getting useful information from the company Wellness Program. We did a survey and from employee feedback came up with areas of wellness to focus on (stress, one-on one health coaching, nutrition-cooking classes). We try to change locations and times to accommodate more employees. We had videos created to be able to communicate via the web but do live talks for those that do not have access to computers.
What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a worksite wellness program?
I would definitely suggest forming a Wellness team with a mission statement and conduct an employee survey to find out what your employees need. This is a great way to find focus and helps get buy in from employees and management. Upper Management support is key to make a wellness program successful, and constant communication of the program.
Why did your business decide become a Health Links Certified Healthy Business?
East West became certified to increase our resources and gain insight on ways to improve our wellness plan as well as increase our involvement in the wellness community. In addition we wanted to highlight our wellness achievements as a recruiting and retention tool for employees.
What benefits did the certification bring to your business?
Health Links has been a great networking opportunity. We have been able to meet and discuss wellness plans with other business. We’ve listened to others’ challenges and the obstacles businesses have overcome that we’ve learned from. It also brought other state wellness initiatives to our attention like the Colorado Culture of Health Conference.
Has this certification changed the way your business thinks about wellness and safety?
Yes. Because of these resources, we’ve combined not only our wellness and safety committees but also our environmental and community volunteer initiatives. We’ve enhanced our financial and employee assistance program to offer a more balanced wellness plan.
Has the Health Links certification or your wellness program affected your surrounding community?
Yes. East West’s Wellness program, Mountains of Wellness has positively affected the local community in the following ways:
We put a company team together for the local Sole Power initiative. This program helps reduce the Carbon Foot Print in regards to vehicle use, reduces the amount of fuel/petrol being consumed, and the program helps promote a healthy lifestyle by promoting commuting to work by running, walking, skateboarding, or riding your bike. Our program also helps sponsor local community events like the Short Track Mountain Bike Race Series, Town of Vail Mountain Bike Race Series, Snowshoe Race Series.
Our Mountains of Wellness Sustainability program has helped reduced the amount of Electricity, Natural Gas, and Water being consumed at our properties. Our program has also helped divert 110,000 lbs of recyclable material from the landfill. We also have a No Idle Policy for all company vehicles, thus, reducing the Carbon Foot Print.