Health Links [HL]: What does being a healthy workplace mean to your organization?
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District [MWRD]: Being a healthy workplace means we all succeed together. We provide our employees with tools and opportunities to help manage their physical, emotional, and financial health. We support employees who are trying to maintain, or improve, their current health or who may be facing a health issue, through education and activities. At Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, being a healthy workplace also means lower medical costs and more engaged employees.
HL: How does your organization create a culture of health, safety, and well-being for employees?
MWRD: We offer a wide variety of educational and activity-based opportunities for employees and their families. Topics we have highlighted in our classes include nutrition, weight-loss, safety, and financial well-being. Activities include exercise classes such as on-site yoga, guided stretching, and massage.
HL: What changes have you seen among your employees, their families, or the surrounding community as a result of your program(s)?
MWRD: Employees are beginning to understand that implementing small changes can make a big difference in how they feel both physically and emotionally. Our volunteer health and fitness committee has doubled in size since inception over 20 years ago. We are also seeing increased participation in our activities. Employees submit new ideas and are becoming more engaged. Spouse participation in our annual health fair has risen. We encourage employees to bring friends and family to off-site health and fitness activities like skiing or marathons. We sponsor a booth at Bike-to-Work Day and volunteer at Denver Rescue Mission. The community is more aware of our organization and our environmental efforts because of these activities.
HL: How has Health Links helped your organization?
MWRD: Health Links provides great resources for our program to grow. Our Healthy Workplace Certification helps us confirm our program meets and exceeds industry standards. We’ve made lasting relationships with vendors at the Health Links Annual Event and our staff always returns from the event motivated and with great ideas.
HL: What tips or pieces of advice would you give to a business looking to create a healthier, safer, and happier environment?
MWRD: Create a vision and share it with employees. Build inclusive programs that support employees to participate in activities they enjoy. It can take a long time to get everyone on board, from ground-level employees through senior management. It also takes time to see the long-term benefits of your program. Be patient, slow and steady wins the race!