Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you? :
South Suburban Parks and Recreation District’s mission is to foster healthy living through stewardship of the environment, parks, trails, and open space and providing recreational services and programs. We value our employees and recognize that their health, safety and well-being are essential to the positive contribution they make to the district and our community.
What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?:
SSPRD organizes, promotes and facilitates programs and resources designed to foster healthier lifestyles for our employees and their dependents, as well as focus on overall wellness and safety in the organization. We have a Safety Committee comprised of both employees and supervisors, bring in industrial hygienists to assess improvements where safety claim trends are identified. We attempt to keep safety in the forefront of our employees thoughts, and this year are working toward the goal of having 80% of our 1,500 employees spread over 32 sites and facilities to complete a safety training in the first 9 months of the 2017 year. Our wellness program targets goals and improvements for our employees’ quality of life at home and at work for our employees through wellness and safety awareness, education and healthy behavior changes. Our wellness program B-fit includes many facets of wellness, such as financial wellness, spiritual wellness, physical wellness, etc. and offers opportunities for employee to achieve their wellness goals through these different categories. To incent our employees, employees who achieve the wellness goals, receive a premium discount on their health insurance.
How will you/do you know your program is successful?:
We have seen a positive impact on claims utilization on the Districts medical plans and work comp claims. Biometrics data has seen a trend that shows employees are in better health and seem to be making healthier lifestyle choices overall.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?:
To gain support from our directors and supervisors to help promote and participate in our wellness objectives with our employees and obtain budget approval for the program from our Board of Directors.
Many of our employees are seasonal or part-time and do not have a company email. Consequently, communication was a big hurdle to overcome, requiring the organization to create different avenues to reach some of our employees.
Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?:
We offer and host multiple events that are held for our employees and the community, like quarterly blood screenings and other tests, Highline Canal Run, Silver Sneakers and Silver Fit and many other free, low-cost and affordable wellness activities. A variety of exciting recreation benefits are available to our employees and their dependents including daily admission to our Recreation centers, employee meal discounts and more to support total well-being now and in the future.
For more than half a century, South Suburban Park and Recreation District’s “business” has been to plan, build and manage the many recreation assets it provides for its residents. Today, 152,000 residents count on South Suburban to provide close-to-home parks and open space, safe playgrounds for children, convenient trails and exciting recreation facilities and programs to serve a variety of needs and desires
What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?:
Offer a variety of programs at each level of difficulty. Engage employees and ask for suggestions/ feedback. Meet each person at where they are at in their life rather than a program focused around just one wellness need: physical, financial, emotional, environmental, social, intellectual or spiritual needs. Develop and offer both team base activities and individual base activities.