Health Links (HL): Why did your business decide to become a Health Links Certified Healthy Business?
Town of Frisco (TF): We decided to become a Health Links Certified Healthy Business because Health Links is a recognized certification to have as an employer and we wanted to utilize the benefits it provides, like the expertise of our health advisor. Also, our organization was already providing health fairs to our employees, lunch and learns, healthy activities, a wellness benefit, safety equipment, safety training, sick, personal, and vacation leave, and we wanted to ensure we were on the right path.
HL: What benefits did the Certification bring to your business?
TF: The Certification beings prestige and recognition to our organization for doing an excellent job. Health Links has a team of professionals and experts in the field. Health Links' expertise and knowledge help our organization improve our wellness program and incorporate new ideas.
The Certification is also a continuous reinforcement to keep doing the right things for our employees and serves as a way to learn what else we can be doing to ensure our employees are healthy, safe, and happy at work. Our employees are our greatest asset and we need to keep them engaged in the organization and happy and healthy to enjoy their time away from the job.
HL: How has this Certification changed the way your business thinks about health promotion and safety?
TF: The Certification has changed the way we implement a new idea and the way we look at new benefits or policies for the organization.
HL: How has your employee health and safety program given back to your community?
TF: The program gives back to the community in a few different ways. We are a government organization and we need to be fiscally responsible to our tax payers. The tax payers need to feel like we as an organization are being diligent with their money. Healthy and happy employees mean less money spent on medical bills, lower turnover, and fewer workers' compensation claims. We also give back to the community by volunteering at local community dinners, planting trees in the community, and maintaining a local trail in our area. This is a great mental and physical activity for our employees and their loved ones. Families are welcome to all of our activities.
Health Links (HL): Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?
Town of Frisco (TF): The Town of Frisco wants to provide a healthy environment to our employees where they feel cared for and appreciated.
HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?
TF: We offer safety training and we have an “open door” culture. We do audits and follow up regarding any accidents or injuries to learn from them and to ensure that they are prevented in the future. Employees are willing to ask for help and assist each other when help is needed. Also, we offer a wellness program called MyFit, which promotes healthy habits, activities, team building, learning, and development. Employees are rewarded for trying new activities and/or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?
TF: We measure participation in our activities, review our aggregate report from our Health Risk Assessment and biometric screening, and lastly, we survey the employees to obtain their feedback.
HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started? How did you overcome them?
TF: We had to dedicate some significant time to put a plan together, and we have learned that the plan needs to change based on employees’ interests and lifestyles.
HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?
TF: Our citizens do not participate in our workplace activities, but we do a Town clean up activity, hikes where employees can explore new trails in the community, and marina activities at our lake. The Town of Frisco believes that if employees learn about our community, they will talk to their friends and family and promote these activities, and this will make our community more sustainable.
HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?
TF: Go for it! It’s worth the time and investment in your employees and community. It’s a win-win for everyone. Be patient and be willing to evolve.