Health Links (HL): What does being a healthy business mean to your organization?
White Construction Group (WCG): Being a healthy business means we invest in the well-being of our employees and community. WCG takes a Total Worker Health® approach to wellness and believes our people are our most important asset. Without happy and healthy people, the business cannot be sustainable. Further, our employees do their best work when they are feeling their best. Healthy and happy employees make positive impacts on our communities and the organizations they hold close to their hearts.
HL: How does your organization create a culture of health, safety and well-being for your employees?
WCG: WCG creates a culture of health, safety, and well-being by strategically incorporating Total Worker Health into our program planning. We do not focus on only weight loss or healthy eating. Rather, we expand our programming to include suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and stress management. Our wellness program is led by employees who are referred to as Wellness Champions. They are instrumental in designing, structuring, and promoting WCG’s Wellness Program.
WCG frequently solicits feedback from employees on what is working and what is not. Recently, WCG developed the first-ever WCG Champion of Wellness Award to recognize employees who go above and beyond in leading by example when it comes to wellness. Our wellness program has developed over time and has become more strategic and dynamic. Going into 2019, we are planning to encapsulate safety more intentionally into our programming and continue building a comprehensive wellness program focused on total wellness.
HL: What changes have you seen among your employees, their families, or the surrounding community as a result of your program(s)?
WCG: In 2017, WCG did not have a formal Wellness Committee, a wellness platform, or a wellness award. Dating back to 2009, WCG has had a longstanding commitment to workplace wellness, but in the past 18 months, we developed a Wellness Committee, implemented a wellness platform, and awarded our first WCG Champion of Wellness Awards. We decided that we were ready to take our commitment and programming to the next level. Going into 2019, we had more committee volunteers and more feedback on where employees would like to see the program go. WCG now also has data to base wellness decisions off and we have an archive of information off which to build future programming. Overall, we have seen an increased interest in wellness and the program offerings have also diversified to match our workforce.
HL: How has Health Links helped your organization?
WCG: Health Links has helped WCG by providing us with a network of healthy businesses. Being somewhat new to offering a comprehensive wellness program, it was beneficial to have access to other businesses who are making wellness a part of their business strategy. The Healthy Business Report Card was also useful. Having data points and specific benchmarks to measure our growth is a useful tool. Through our partnership with Health Links, we made strong connections at the Colorado School of Public Health. As a result, we have graduate students assisting our wellness champions with research related to Total Worker Health specific to the construction industry.
HL: What tips or pieces of advice would you give to a business looking to create a healthier, safer, and happier environment?
WCG: When you talk about creating a healthier, safer, and happier work environment, you are essentially diving into a discussion about workplace culture. It is important to lead by example and honor your words. We would also advance that it is important to be patient with the process. Changing workplace culture and personal habits takes time. Consistency of leadership and messaging is essential. However, the most important piece of advice relates to people. If you want to have a successful wellness program and a safe working environment, you must trust your people to help you steer the ship. Actively engaging and incorporating your workforce into your wellness program and vision is a must. After all, your people are your most important asset and the reason you are developing these programs in the first place.