As an employee well-being specialist and someone who is passionate about helping small employers, I recognize that while small employers want to do the right thing, there are many challenges associated with bringing worksite wellness strategies to your employees. I have concluded that with a little effort and a little assistance from local health non-profits, every small employer can do the following five strategies:
1. Periodically ask employees for their input and ideas regarding the work environment, work processes and their needs and interests.
- Ask individual employees and groups of employees – use focus groups
- Conduct needs and interests surveys
- Conduct culture/climate surveys
- Conduct safety surveys
2. Regularly provide health and safety awareness materials and educational opportunities to employees.
- Use the National Health Observances monthly calendar to guide your delivery of awareness material. Here is the link: http://healthfinder.gov/NHO/nhoPDF/2013nho.pdf
- Give out newsletters, bulletins, tips sheets, etc. Here is a free resource to help get you started: http://www.healthymaineworks.com/healthpromo.html
- Link to community health and wellness educational opportunities
- Invite your local hospital, local community agencies and non-profits to deliver on-site educational programming based on employee needs and interests
3. Utilize or modify the work environment to make healthy and safe choices the easiest choice.
- Establish an employee break room with sink, refrigerator and microwave
- Create opportunities for recognition or rewards
- Follow safe housekeeping practices
- Use available indoor and outdoor facilities such as stairs and parking lots for physical activities
- Include healthy food choices as an option anytime you provide food to employees
4. Adopt and implement appropriate employee management policies.
- Wellness-related policies such as tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition, lactation support
- Safety-related policies
- Work/life-related policies such as availability of flex-time
5. Promote connection with community resources, events and activities.
- Farmers markets
- Community 5K Fun Run
- Walking trails
- Tobacco cessation services at the local hospital
- Activities at local non-profits
William McPeck, MSW, CWWPC, WLCP
Bill McPeck is a Workplace Wellness Centre of Excellence, Inc. Associate. Bill is a Certified Wellness Culture Coach, Worksite Wellness Program Consultant and Work-Life Professional. He is available to help you with all your employee wellness, safety, work-life and well-being needs. Contact Bill with your questions,Â comments, or concerns at 207-355-1203 or firstname.lastname@example.org