Worksite wellness in progress: Part two

Internal talent and local resources make workplace wellness programs affordable.

Employers looking to implement an employee wellness program are not alone as 50 percent of US employers offer some type of worksite health promotion program according to the 2013 RAND report. The wellness programs offered by these employers vary by employee interests, population and type of work. Tailoring the wellness program to the employee population is one key for success. Successful worksite wellness programs also have the following components in common:

  • Leadership participation
  • Clear communication
  • Employee input and inclusion
  • Utilization of existing resources
  • Ongoing evaluation and quality improvement

There are many reputable worksite wellness providers who can help you implement your wellness programs. However, if you are not quite ready to make that investment, you can start a program on your own utilizing your existing internal and local resources. Leadership support of the wellness committee, which is staffed by employees and its participation in activities is a key to success as management leads by example. A worksite wellness committee staffed by internal employees utilizes internal talent as a culture of wellness is built in your company.

When you are choosing wellness activities, be sure to select those that appeal to employee interests and can be offered to everyone, especially if you have shift workers within your employee population. Use the employee interest survey found on Michigan’s Designing Healthy Environments at Work website to guide your program choices. Once you have identified the programs based on interest and need, you have many reliable online resources to help you implement your initiatives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives you common employee health interventions and ways to evaluate them. The covered health topics range from nutrition to immunizations, health screenings to injury. Utilizing these tools to get started on your employee wellness program can be an affordable first step to building a comprehensive wellness program.

Michigan State University Extension is one of the reputable, local resources you can use to implement your employee wellness program and is located in nearly every county in Michigan. Michigan State University Extension educators are prepared to offer numerous workshops to employees based on their needs and interests. We also have a certified master trainer prepared to train employers on the comprehensive CDC Work@Health program. Additional worksite wellness resources and services will be released in 2016. Visit the Worksite Wellness resource page for updates and new programs.

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