Health Links [HL]: What does being a healthy workplace mean to your organization?
National Environmental Health Association [NEHA]: We take a “whole employee” approach to workplace well-being that includes a focus on physical, mental, emotional, and community health. At National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), being a healthy workplace means considering all aspects of employee well-being when creating and implementing programs and policies.
[HL]: How does your organization create a culture of health, safety, and well-being for employees?
[NEHA]: We established an employee-led wellness committee that works with leadership to create a culture of health and well-being through programming and policies. A new benefit we added is an annual paid wellness day for all employees. The committee also organized a volunteer activity at our summer retreat which was well-received. We focus on staff appreciation through our employee recognition program. We also administer annual surveys to better understand and meet the wellness needs and interests of our team.
[HL]: What changes have you seen among your employees, their families, or the surrounding community as a result of your program(s)?
[NEHA]: We’ve seen an increase in participation in our wellness activities. Participating in wellness activities makes our workplace more fun! Employees in different departments, who normally don’t have many opportunities to connect, are interacting and getting to know one another at our wellness activities and events. This strengthens professional relationships and helps us be a more cohesive team. We’ve also built closer relationships with our neighbors through community volunteer events like the Cherry Creek Cleanup where we pick up trash near our office building.
[HL]: How has Health Links helped your organization?
[NEHA]: Health Links gave us the tools, resources, advice, and general encouragement to get our wellness program off the ground. Before our partnership with Health Links, we didn’t have a formalized wellness program. Now we have the foundation of an evidence-based wellness program, and the sky is the limit for where we go from here.
[HL]: What tips or pieces of advice would you give to a business looking to create a healthier, safer, and happier environment?
[NEHA]: Stay committed to workplace well-being even when challenges come your way. The data to support workplace well-being can be overwhelming—your commitment will make your program effective. Sometimes you have to be creative. You may not have all the resources you need at your disposal; the beauty is in what you can accomplish with the resources you do have.