Success Stories

Town of Gypsum / Gypsum, CO

Certified Healthy Workplace™ Leader

Health Links (HL): Why is the health and safety of your employees important to you?  

Town of Gypsum (TOG): The Town of Gypsum believes that if our employees are healthy they will enjoy their work and do a better job. Safety is always of the utmost importance for all of our employees. If employees see that safety is the first priority for management, then they will be more likely and comfortable to suggest safety improvements.

HL: What does your workplace health and safety program look like? Do you offer both components to employees?

TOG: One of our goals for 2017 was to combine our Wellness and Safety Committees into one. We are pleased to note this was accomplished in January. We hold monthly meetings, develop surveys to send out to employees, and review how our current policies and challenges have been received by employees and what we can do to improve our program.

HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?              

TOG: We send out surveys to our employees and listen to the wants and input of our employees. We try to offer opportunities for all employees and to recognize all employees who participate in challenges.

HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started?  How did you overcome them?

TOG: We didn't really have obstacles. Our Town Management, Town Council, and employees were on board and supportive. Health Links supplied invaluable support in getting our program set up, and the kick start money was used to purchase step monitors which our employees started using right away.

HL: Does your health and safety program help give back to your community?

TOG: We have adopted a local walking/biking trail that we help maintain. The Town organizes and holds cleanup days for residents and has cleaned up surrounding land and natural areas of Gypsum. We also believe that if we offer all employees wellness opportunities that they enjoy, our employees will be happier and be able to communicate with customers and other employees better. After receiving two Health Links grants, we have installed water coolers that allow customers and employees access to hot or cold purified water instead of sugary drinks.

HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace health and safety program?

 Jump in and do it! It may seem daunting at first, but once you start it gets easier. Health links offers invaluable help to start on this journey to health and well-being.


Original Interview

Health Links (HL): Why is the health and wellness of your employees important to you?  

Town of Gypsum (TOG): We believe that by promoting and recognizing all of our employees who are giving the extra effort and improving their physical fitness we are actually improving our working environment. By encouraging healthier behaviors of our employees, we are improving not only their own health but will be able to provide a happy, healthy place to work. 

HL: Please describe your business’ workplace wellness activities/program.

TOG: There are multiple programs in place that make up our Wellness Package. We offer incentives for recreation passes, golf or ski passes, exercise classes and sporting/exercise equipment.  We feel this allows each employee the opportunity to follow their passion, be it Cross fit classes or biking, or anything in between.  By offering flexible schedules to employees for activity related events or classes everyone can fit exercise into their day.  We have also recently purchased activity monitors for all employees and have initiated monthly challenges between staff.  This seems to have created a fun competitive atmosphere and has been widely accepted by all.  The competitions are being designed so that not only the “top” performance wins, but everyone is recognized for their efforts. For example, the winners may be based on percentage of increase in activity from one period compared to another. 

The Town also has purchased standing work desk stations and balance ball chairs for employees to use, both of which have been highly received.  By providing employees with the right tools, back pain has been reduced and employees can increase their core and improve posture while working.

HL: How will you/do you know your program is successful?              

TOG: We currently have 99.9% buy-in of all Town employees in our FitKik or activity monitoring program. Gathering employee input about our monthly challenges from surveys allows us to gauge how they feel about the program. We are planning on organizing and having health talks about nutrition, exercise and basic health topics such as diabetes and high blood pressure. We will be basing how well these programs are received by the attendance of these presentations. Currently, the feedback has all been positive, and employees are very involved.  In the long term, it is our hope that a reduction in our insurance costs is realized by the Town.

HL: What obstacles did you have to overcome to get your program started?  How did you overcome them?

TOG: Funding was originally a concern but our Town Council was extremely supportive of setting up a Wellness plan. After our Town’s Assistant Manager researched various options and the FitKik activity monitoring system was decided upon, it was really refreshing how excited and willing all employees were to start measuring their activity. Employees are living the Town’s motto of Live, Work, Play & Be Healthy.

HL: What tip/advice would you give to a business that is considering starting a workplace wellness program? 

TOG: The guidance and resources of Health Links Colorado were great. It is important to start small and set achievable goals.  One of the most important tips would be to set up all employees for success – to include all employees, and to be flexible.  Not everyone likes to exercise the same, so recognize all different types of activities done and encourage everyone to participate.  Everyone has a passion – some just need to find and cultivate it!