Health Links (HL): What does being a Healthy Workplace mean to your organization? How does it reflect the company's values and business goals?
Mesa County Valley School District 51 (MCV): Being a healthy business is important to our organization. It is important to not only live a healthy life as an employee but also as a community member. Our employees are able to take health and safety information they learned within the organization and apply it to all areas of their lives. We strive for our employees to become their best selves. Employee engagement in wellness helps reduce health care costs. We understand that our employees are our best assets. We continue to invest in their health while offering education and a safe environment for everyone.
HL: How does your organization create a culture of health, safety, and well-being for employees?
MCV: Through the years, we have continued to build a culture of health and safety. Through Health Links, we now have a better understanding of our wellness culture as a whole. We identified the areas of health and safety in which we are doing well and the areas in which we need to improve. We are able to make improvements to build a culture of health and safety for our organization.
HL: What changes have you seen among your employees, their families, or the surrounding community as a result of your program(s)?
MCV: We have seen more awareness of overall health. Our wellness program offers annual health screenings for employees and spouses. From these health screenings, participants are more in tune with their health. Employees and spouses also engage in ongoing wellness challenges. These challenges are fun. Participants get their families and students involved. Students see their teachers engaging in wellness habits, like drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables, that they can implement into their own lives!
HL: What tips or pieces of advice would you give to a business looking to create a healthier, safer, and happier environment?
MCV: When getting started, look at your organization's long-term wellness and safety goals and determine a strategic plan. Having a strategic plan lets you plan your goals for each year and measure whether or not you have met your goals. Know your audience and listen to your employees. Don't make wellness and safety hard. It should be easy and fun! Offer programs that your employees want to participate in. Programs should be educational and motivating. Create a wellness team that can get the word out about wellness and promote your programs.
Implementing any new program takes time. Be patient and resilient. Workplace health and safety may be new to your organization and employees may not want to participate. Just keep working hard and educating employees. Eventually, this new outlook will click. Over time, your culture will change and interest in wellness and safety will grow. In the end, you will find an increase in participation and also find that your employees are healthier overall.