Health Links: Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?
SummitCove Vacation Lodging (SVL): SummitCove wants our employees to be excited to come to work, to feel healthy and happy and to know that we care about their well-being. We want them to be engaged in their work and want to stick with us for the long run.
HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?
SVL: We encourage our employees to participate and volunteer in various events that we put on and/or sponsor such as 5k's, charity walks and more. SummitCove offers employees health insurance options, paid time off, stand-up desks and ski pass reimbursements. Employees recognize their peers with our 'Way to Go' program and can earn gift cards. We continue to invest in our employees, knowing that they are our biggest asset, offering continued education programs, second language classes, certifications, safety trainings and more. We are very open to supporting employee interests and try to do everything we can to help incorporate personal goals with professional goals.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
SVL: By surveying our employees regarding our benefits programs, we can find out what is working, which benefits are really being utilized and what needs to change or isn't working. Employee engagement, retention and other factors are signs of success for us. We have been recognized as Outside Magazine's 'Best 100 Places to Work' this year as well as nominated in the top 3 for a local award, 'Best Place to Work in Summit County'. We are looking forward to working with Health Links to help us improve and create a more well-rounded program that really focuses on what is important to our employees and will make a difference in their lives.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
SCL: One of our biggest challenges is communicating and implementing things across a diverse group of people who are spread out in multiple offices- getting the message across to people in all types of positions in multiple languages and locations can be challenging. We use various mediums, interpreters, and other tools to help us spread the word to every employee. Once the message is out, it is important to get everyone on board and actually want to participate and not just look at it as a requirement. Offering incentives and creating friendly 'challenges' ensures that everyone gets excited and involved.
HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?
SVL: SummitCove encourages volunteerism and strives to be very active in our community. Annually since 2014, we have hosted the Das Bier Burner 5K in Keystone on Labor Day weekend, which gets both our employees and the community involved and a portion of the proceeds go to support a local charity. We've also sponsored and participated as a group in events such as Hike MS at Keystone, 'Adopt a Highway' program and many other charity events; we also donate to auctions throughout the year. We regularly host food and clothing drives, volunteer at community dinners and other programs. We've also had many of our employees certified in a driver's safety program, which makes our roads and parking lots safer for everyone.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?
SVL: The first thing to do is just get started! Start with a survey of your employees to find out where you stand and what is actually important to them. 'Wellness' is a very broad term and it can mean many different things, depending who you ask. Take the time to sit down with your employees and find out what they want, what makes them happy, what makes the difference to them and try to incorporate that as the foundation of your program. Small steps and changes can go a long way! Remember, happy employees equate to happy customers!