Health Links (HL): What does being a healthy workplace mean to your organization?
St. Anthony Summit Medical Center (SASMC): Being a healthy business means making different options and opportunities available to our associates. By providing the resources and tools for our associates to take part in on-site physical and mental health activities, connecting them to events and opportunities in the community, and online resources, we want to make the healthy choices easier for our associates.
HL: How does your organization create a culture of health, safety, and well-being for employees?
SASMC: By soliciting and listening to associate feedback and working to understand what is most meaningful to our population we have been able to create a culture focused around health. A key component has been accommodating diverse work schedules, understanding what our employees need and when they need it most. Considering the nature of the work of our employees and our seasonality, we have used the feedback we have received across the organization to tailor what we offer. For example, given the amount of stress experienced in the hospital during the winter months, we offer yoga on-site and chair massages. To ensure employees are aware of these offerings and able to take advantage, we partnered with managers across the organization to provide accommodations.
HL: How has Health Links helped your organization?
SASMC: Health Links has been able to help us establish continuity across our organization and wellness programming. Given our unique location and environment in Summit County, physical, emotional and mental health is an area of focus for us. Health Links has helped us identify areas for improvement and generate creative ideas for ways to utilize existing resources and our surrounding environment. Health Links was also helpful in securing grant funding and partnering with our organization to be able to provide stand-up desks for our associates.
HL: What changes have you seen among your employees, their families, or the surrounding community as a result of your program(s)?
SASMC: We are constantly soliciting associate feedback and refining our current wellness offerings and communication to ensure we are accommodating the needs of our community. Our community is extremely active, so we have been able to tap into existing behaviors and activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing to help our employees maintain social interaction, beneficial for both physical and mental health. By uplifting our associates, we are creating a stable community, our associates can provide better service and patient care at work as well as give back to their own families.
HL: What tips/pieces of advice would you give to a business looking to create a healthier, safer, and happier environment?
SASMC: A business must take initiative and must start promoting and supporting wellness from within, making an initial investment and showing a commitment across the organization. After this initial initiative has been taken, the organization needs to also look for partners with more expertise and different resources to bring into the workplace. Ensure the needs of all associates are being considered with variety in wellness programming and communicate those offerings across multiple channels to increase awareness. Businesses should also look for ways to promote existing resources within their community – taking advantage of programs and events that already exist.